REVIEW | The Early Adventures: The Yes Men

The Yes Men, written by Simon Guerrier, takes the Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie to the Earth colony of New Houston, where they find themselves caught up in a funeral procession. The Doctor soon realises that everyone’s mourning the death of an old friend of his, Meg Carvossa, and, along with Polly, sets about uncovering the circumstances behind her death.

Meanwhile, Ben and Jamie encounter the colony’s amiable robot servants, the Yes Men (brought to life by Stephen Critchlow), and begin to realise that they aren’t what they seem. The two plot strand interweave beautifully, coming together to form an unexpected conclusion. This is a story which Guerrier packs full of twists and turns, ensuring that certain plot points never outstay their welcome or become boring.

The main cast are on top form, with Fraser Hines giving a strong approximation of Patrick Troughton‘s Second Doctor, while also reprising his usual role of the fiery Jamie McCrimmon. Similarly, Anneke Wills as Polly sounds like she hasn’t aged a day since 1966, and Elliot Chapman takes on the role of Ben Jackson with flair, perfectly filling the shoes of the late Michael Craze. It’s amazing to think that this is Chapman’s first story in the role, because he fits in so well right from the off.

The rest of the cast consists of Lizzie McInnerny as the officious Harriet Quilp, Timothy Speyer as the subservient Nesca Bangate, and Jane Slavin as the mysterious President. All three put in strong performances, perfectly complementing the regulars and putting their own spin on Guerrier’s material.

Overall, this is a strong story, giving each of its characters something to do while also having an engaging plot. It might not be the most original Doctor Who story out there, but it’s well-written and fits very snugly into the late 60s vibe it’s trying to emulate. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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