The Dying Light reviewed

The Dying Light coverThe Companion Chronicles continue the Quadrigger Stoyn trilogy with the Second Doctor title The Dying Light. Written by Nick Wallace (who was written for the Bernice Summerfield range) this is narrated by Frazer Hines as Jamie (and the Doctor) with Wendy Padbury as Zoe and Terry Molloy as Stoyn.

How well does this story work and how does it add to the trilogy?

The story

A simple summary from Big Finish:

The TARDIS materialises on a dying world circling a dying sun, where the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are welcomed to Sanctuary – an entire monastery carved out of a mountain.

But little here is quite what it seems.

Quadrigger Stoyn has waited through the centuries. And it is time for the Doctor to pay for his first terrible mistake.

The story is set on a strange world whose inhabitants are provided for by the planet and on which washes up any number of stray space wrecks. The world hosts a massive monastery carved whose Abbot is Quadrigger Stoyn.

We learn that Stoyn has been mapping the Doctor’s travels and expects the TARDIS to arrive in the middle of a chamber in which he intends to use the power of the ship to send a message back to Gallifrey and get a chance to return to heaven (as he presents his home world to Jamie).

The planet is sentient and anti-technology which leads to a stormy conclusion in which the locals are saved but Stoyn is launched back into time. Roll on Luna Romana…

The storytelling

Nick Wallace does a good job of telling this from Jamie’s perspective but that does mean that the Doctor is parked for much of the first part. Zoe has a few things to do but this is really Jamie’s story. Stoyn spends time almost leaking the Doctor’s back story though Jamie is not interested.

The plot never quite lifts itself above the basics of the setting – isolated world, mad ruler with a secret and a lack of confrontation between the Doctor and Stoyn. Frazer delivers his normal excellent performance as both Jamie and the Second Doctor and Terry Molloy portrays an increasingly insane Stoyn.

The trilogy

[pullquote]My struggle with this story is what does it add?[/pullquote]

Yes I like the idea of Stoyn and his obsession with the Doctor and why not have him meet some version of the Doctor at some point. This story didn’t really do anything except (at first listen) have an awkward set of meetings and leave Stoyn still lost and more physically damaged than before.

I also wonder now as to:

  • Why did the Time Lords never look for Stoyn (as far as we know)
  • Why could Stoyn not contact Gallifrey the way that the Doctor does at the end of War Games?

I look to the next story to make the trilogy into a coherent whole.

One thought on “The Dying Light reviewed

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