Tuesday, 30 November 2010
No More Lies written by Paul Sutton and directed by Barnaby Edwards
What's it about: What links a disintegrating spaceship to a posh garden party, where a wealthy couple are celebrating their love for each other in style? Gatecrashers the Doctor and Lucie think they know the answer. But they're not the only uninvited guests - ferocious alien warriors riding pterodactyl-like Vortisaurs are about to make their entrance!
Breathless Romantic: He’s still charismatic, romantic and dashing, he’s still rather wonderful in this season. Lucie reckons he loves taking a look at her bum! When questioned on the subject he admits that he feels bad the way he manipulates people. It is really nice to see him and Lucie working together so well before the grand finale, they are well on their way to becoming the rock solid team that soared through seasons two and three. Zimmerman suggests that the Doctor and he have missed many years of friendship but the Doctor is still sore from all that time whipping he experienced. The ending is especially good; the Doctor’s dramatic reaction to Lucie’s kidnap really drives home how much he has come to care for her.
Luscious Lucie: Runs out of the TARDIS in the first scene like a whirlwind of energy and attitude. The Doctor almost feels sorry for Zimmerman because Lucie is hunting him down! She’s not a full-blown time sensitive she just travels with one so the time whip does not work on her. I loved the exchange between Lucie and Rachel once the crisis is over: ‘Thank the Lord…’ ‘And the Time Lord, if I know my Doctor.’ What a step forward for the pair of them and a far cry from their tension in Blood of the Daleks. Lucie wonders if she will ever love anybody as much as Zimmerman loves Rachel.
Standout Performance: Its another sterling cast with some huge names making a real impact. Nigel Havers makes a charming villain, torturing and wooing in equal measure, Tom Chadbon is always a winner and makes Gordon pleasingly pathetic and strong and Julia McKenzie soothes us all with a gorgeous operatic song and a lovely, gentle honest performance.
Great Ideas: I really like a story that opens with the Doctor already firmly embedded in the narrative (ala Human Nature on TV). The Tarmadock can smell time, they chronosynthesise, f
eed on time energies. Zimmerman is selling rare time technology that will kill millions in the wrong hands. The Doctor and Lucie arrive decades later in Zimmerman’s time stream where somebody has time looped a garden party. Zimmerman has turned over a new leaf, he fell in love with Rachel, told her the truth about his heritage, cheated on her and fallen for her all over again. The Doctor has great fun riding Margaret the Vortisaur to find the focal point of the time loop. Rachel is dying; Zimmerman trapped himself in the time loop for one last eternal evening with his love – what a gorgeous conclusion. Lucie is kidnapped by the Headhunter. Finally she’s caught up with them!
Sparkling Dialogue: ‘Give me your time!’
Audio Landscape: This story is beautifully put together, capturing the romance of the writing perfectly. I love how Edwards effortlessly slips from one scene in the future with lots of technological sounds to scenes in the past ringing with music. The story bounces back and forth for the first 20 minutes dexterously. The spaceship itself is very noisy with lots of bleeping consoles, ringing alarms and finally tearing metal as it is torn apart. The time whip fizzes nastily. Birds twitter in the grounds of the house, people crunch across the gravel and there is some polite applause after the speeches. Vortisaurs screaming in the sky and bang on the exterior of the TARDIS. Thunder rumbles ominously and rain falls with a delicate splash. Rachel’s bedroom window smashes unexpectedly.
Musical Cues: The score is pleasingly ostentatious with a glamorous violin and piano dazzling the senses. Rachel’s singing is operatic and divine. Can I go to this party please? I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a time loop as long as I can listen the live piano playing and saxophone.
Result: A story about the past coming back to haunt you, No More Lies is a class act. I much prefer these character based tales in the 45 minute format, there was just enough time here to set up the situation and give it some meat before revealing why the time loop had been set up and finish on a tear jerking ending. The direction is extremely polished and with Havers, Chadbon and McKenzie on board the story pretty much sells itself although Paul Sutton’s script is more than up to the job. The story hits the ground running and there is a tasty cliffhanging ending that leaves me hungry for the next instalment. Very pleasing on the ear: 8/10
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/16-Doctor-Who-No-More-Lies