Coming soon: an audio drama adaptation of the shelved Doctor Who 30th anniversary special The Dark Dimension. Starting January 23rd 2020, Pharos Features’ Doctor Who: Dark Dimension will reimagine the unmade story almost 30 years after its demise.
We at Who Review have been lucky enough to have been given the first episode of Dark Dimension to preview. Given that this is coming out before the episode releases on Saturday, this will, of course, be spoiler-free. Read on for our thoughts!
Adapted from Adrian Rigelsford‘s original script by Billy Garratt-John, this first episode of Dark Dimension takes place in the year 2025, where planet Earth is little more than a smouldering husk, plagued by floods and fires. The story begins with Commander Summerfield (Ellie Collins) and her team of resistance fighters discovering something very terrible indeed… something involving the Doctor!
Meanwhile, Ace (Laura Jayne-Hunt) encounters the Fourth Doctor (Matthew Toffolo), who has certainly seen better days. Might his condition be linked to Summerfield’s discovery? And what is the mysterious Oliver Hawkspur (brought to life with a sinister performance from Chris Walker-Thomson) planning?
It’s certainly a very intriguing premise, and it plays out with a few nice twists and turns which I won’t spoil here. Thanks to very strong sound design from Eddie John, Dick Mills, Brian Hodgson and Barry Gray, it was easy to imagine the story playing out as I listened to it, while Luke Crichton provides music to rival that of Big Finish!
The performances are, by and large, quite strong. Jayne-Hunt’s performance of Ace, while not an exact impression of Sophie Aldred, is very impressive and incredibly reminiscent of the character, while Toffolo provides a clearly recognisable approximation of Tom Baker in his role as the Fourth Doctor. The standout, though, has to be Walker-Thomson, who brings Hawkspur to life with flair.
Overall, this is a strong start to Doctor Who: Dark Dimension, expertly executed by Pharos Features. With an intriguing plot, strong performances and an exciting cliffhanger at the end, this episode has definitely left me excited to hear the rest of the story.
The first part of Doctor Who: Dark Dimension releases on the Pharos Features YouTube channel at 7pm UK time on Saturday January 23rd 2020. Here’s the synopsis and cast list:
2025. The Earth is a smouldering husk – ravaged by fire and floods. A small pocket of resistance fighters led by Commander Summerfield must fight a creature they can’t defeat in a universe where the Doctor is dead.
Starring Matthew Toffolo, Chris Walker-Thomson, Laura Jayne-Hunt and Ellie Collins.
Adapted and directed by Billy Garratt-John.