At just under seventy minutes long its 10 minutes longer than Shadow of Death and yet the pacing is steady (and better than Shadow of Death) but it doesn’t feel like it gets rushed. The ending is done well and doesn’t feel like its rushed or convoluted. The story arc briefly rears its head quite late into the story buts it’s a nice reminder and also breather from the main story. It’s not really clear what the overall story arc actually is but it was a nice moment in the story and I thought that Franklin’s impression of Matt Smith was very funny indeed. Richard Franklin gives another wonderful performance and it’s due entirely to his deliverance. He has a smooth way of performing and it’s very similar in style to William Russell. The Mike we get here is an early Mike but still a heroic one and he gets his reward at the end which was very satisfying.
The third part of this series moves to the Jon Pertwee era and a story told by Richard Franklin. My interest peaked when I heard Franklin was going to be in this story after enjoying ‘The Rings of Ikiria’ last year. The story starts off with an RAF plane vanishing which causes UNIT to become involved and Mike Yates who at the beginning of the story is a local military officer. The story sees the revelation that the aliens are actually researchers and have been here for years and have used the stones as a S.O.S which unfortunately for them won’t help them. The idea of using stones in the story might remind you of the Stones of Blood but thankfully they aren’t actually as dangerous as that but they are intriguing. There are moments which comfort you into believing that this is a third Doctor story such as the Doctor willing to take a plane and fly it along the path that the original plane took was a nice touch.
I really enjoyed this adventure as it did three things in one story. It told an entertaining story, continued the story arc and also helped tell a bit more about Mike Yates back story. Not quite sure whether it tops Hunters of Earth but what I am sure about is that it’s a highly enjoyable and manages to envoke the era that it is meant to be from and that’s always a good thing. I am really enjoying these stories as I feel that they manage to celebrate each era in Doctor Who’s 50th year.