2009 began with the Key2Time trilogy (instead of Key to Time which had been done or Key 2 Time which is just plain silly). This Fifth Doctor trilogy consists of The Judgement of Isskar (Simon Guerrier), The Destroyer of Delights (Jonathan Clements) and The Chaos Pool (Peter Anghelides). There is also a Seventh Doctor / Ace Companion Chronicle that fits into this called The Prisoner’s Dilemma (Simon Guerrier). At this stage themed trilogies were not a regular occurence though this dead rather lead the way. The main questions to explore are what’s it about and what’s it like. Read on…
What’s it about?
Sliced into a moment of time, the Fifth Doctor is recruited by Amy (Ciarra Janson) one of the Tracer Twins to help re-locate the segments of the Key to Time as the treatment meted out to it has left it unstable. Amy works for the White Guardian and she has a twin sister Zara (Laura Doddington) working for the Grace. Over the course of three stories the parties chase, collect and combine the segments to save everything!
The story starts with the Doctor and Amy heading for Mars and we find the race that will become the Ice Warriors in an early stage of their history. This story also features Raquel Cassidy as the alien Mesca and connects in well with the Ice Warrior mythos that Big Finish have used across a range of titles including the much earlier story Red Dawn and the later Eighth Doctor story Deimos. The taking of the segment also raises a moral dilemma in that its removal leads to the fate of the Martians.
We then have a Arabian Nights inspired tale set in ninth century Sudan, the Destroyer of Delights. A somewhat rambling that allows the Black and White Guardians back to the table. We also get a explanation of the true story behind the djinn!
Directed by Lisa Bowerman this is my favourite tale to listen to even if it seems somewhat trapped in its setting.
We move finally to The Chaos Pool and we get all the ideas exposed and concluded. We get the re-appearance of Lalla Ward as Madame President but not Romana of the Time Lords, no Astra her original role. We have here a really clever tale packed to the brim with excitement and many twists and turns. We even get a surprise sixth segment, explanations for arbitrary events in the TV season around Romana’s regeneration and a battle between the forces of Chaos and Order!
What’s it like?
As a show-piece trilogy I think it a great piece of work, with its own branding and some great new characters. We have stories with strong content, fun, twists and surprises. We meet the Tracer Twins who will gain their own spin-offs, the Graceless stories.
I believe reaction was somewhat mixed at the time; when I listened to these with no particular expectation I was very taken with them and they were probably my favourite Davison stories (I have new favourites now!)
If you haven’t heard these I would recommend them if for no other reason than the continuity to the TV, never mind the quality.
What did you think?