I enjoyed this story. It was good for the first three episodes but really comes into its own in the last part and it cemented my opinion that the seeds of war was the best story of the year in the main range. The previous stories were good in their different ways but they didn’t grab me in the way that this story did. It had a great sub story that was supporting the eminence story. I really am looking forward to this second story.
The final story of this Mel trilogy is an unusual one as it features an alien that hasn’t featured yet and when it does it will be in a fourth Doctor adventure. The Doctor and Mel go to Kalsos where they are supposed to be enjoying a meal but things don’t go to plan and soon the Doctor and Mel are in a battle to help humans survive after a war that they have just won. The story grabs you from the very beginning and never gets boring. It’s written by Matt Fitton and Nicholas Briggs and their storytelling styles are running through this story like a stick of Blackpool rock. The story is interesting and have very well written characters. All of the characters are either weary or determined.
The main grab of this story is the Eminence which is mentioned in the early part of the story and the Doctor recognises it but us the listener doesn’t know who or what the Eminence is. I had forgotten what the big deal was and even once I did I still found the creature to be highly enjoyable. The voice was great and well done by David Sibly. Sibley appeared in the Pirate planet and had a voice that was born for radio. The rest of the performances were all subtle but they worked well when they were together. As for the central performances, I thought that Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford were brilliant in this story. Baker always gives a good performance but he is given some good stuff to do and when that happens it means Colin shows us what he could have been like on TV had he been given the chance. Bonnie Langford has also shown what she could have done with Mel had she been allowed to more than scream. She becomes involved in things and also contributes to the story and hopefully causes people (critics) to re-evaluate her and Mel.
As a series, it’s a fair to say that the first set of stories for Mel in six years has been mixed. If I’m honest they have had their moments as I said before but only one story has really stood out for me and that was this one. One thing I can say for sure is that the stories had the feel and vibe of the era. Bake and Langford worked well together and they should that they have a great working relationship. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for more Bonnie stories cause she is very good and the rebirth of Mel looks good.