The Creeping Death is the Roy Gill, third story in The Tenth Doctor Adventures. It’s an historical story though one following the usual aliens on Earth in the past trope. It’s also rather good and the only one of the set to be released on vinyl.
Let’s have a chat…
The Creeping Death
First the synopsis:
London, 1952, and a deadly smog envelops the capital.
But something even more dangerous – and alien – is hiding within the mists.
When the Doctor and Donna get lost in the fog, they find a motley group of Londoners trying to make their way home.
Very soon, the stakes are raised, as death creeps along fume-choked streets, and not everyone will make it out alive…
A bit minimalist but it tells you all you need to know. The story is very much a game of two halves (I’m going to contradict myself lower down) with the first setting the scene, conjuring the dark gloom of the smog and is in sharp contrast to the first two stories.
There’s more humour in the second half and action as well, but also (for some) a character journey. Of course the odd alien menace does add for some space. The characters are all great and the usual strong cast includes Stephen Critchlow and Helen Goldwyn.
In terms of a classic three act (here’s the contradiction) structure, Act I is about meeting the characters on the foggy streets of London and in a bus depot. Act II is about being trapped, think base under seige. The final Act takes the characters into conflict back on the streets and in another rather wonderful London location.
For me personally this had other resonance. My father was born in West London near the start of World War II and has mentioned the famous pea-souper fogs many times. Perhaps that added to the sense of foreboding in the first half of the story. It certainly makes me feel old!
The story isn’t without humour (and very tongue-in-cheek it is as well) but is a darker more intense tale. I rather enjoyed it!