The latest set of stories in the Eighth Doctor Ravenous range takes the Doctor, Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair to yet stranger places than before in a mix of tales I mostly liked but I have some reservations with Ravenous 2 as a set. Let me explain…
Ravenous 2 explored
First up is the Matt Fitton story Escape from Kaldor, a great tale allowing us to explore a little bit of Liv Chenka’s past, her family and Kaldor City. Clare Rushbrook is Liv’s sister Tula in a story of (yet again) robot problems, big business and rebellion. It’s a strong opener to the set and even allows a gap in the timeline for Liv to really come to terms with some of who she is.
Second and third are a pair of John Dorney stories set in Salzburg at Christmas. Better Watch Out and Fairy Tale of Salzburg are a great pair of stories that take their time to paint a rather surreal vision of Christmas gone wrong, all mixed with fantasy and John at his most whimsical. Helen and Liv are at the centre in this rather splendid event. It’s a big story and worth the admission price for the set alone.
Finally in the fourth story Guy Adams takes us to a dying TARDIS, brings in the Eleven and even gives us one of the Ravenous. Here’s where I think the concept of the boxset falls down in this instance. I’m not saying every story needs to rigorous develop a central idea, but the first three of four are some great Eighth Doctor and chums tales that could easily sit in a main range release. Suddenly in Seizure Guy is cramming in a story, some horror, the Eleven and building to a cliffhanger.
To make it more challenging, for whatever reason the Eleven is only in for a few scenes, the Ravenous just isn’t scary and what could have been a powerful tale of a haunted dying TARDIS just doesn’t work. There’s a much, much stronger two-part story here, but that wouldn’t fit the four disc boxset. Missed opportunity and we already know the next set is packed with various other returning characters, so we’ll just have to move on.