We seem to be hearing an awful lot from Russell Enoch, aka William Russell at the moment, with his narration of The Sensorites, and various contributions to the Companion Chronicles. This isn’t a complaint in the slightest – as the indisputable Elder Statesman of Doctor Who, it’s fantastic that aged 87 he still wants to help tell stories based on a character he created nearly fifty years ago.
Ian Potter’s script veers towards the horror end of the Doctor Who spectrum, and Russell’s aged voice is perfectly suited to this sort of ghostly tale. Even on a bright summer day, I could feel chills during the attack by the creatures as Russell almost caresses some of the words. Director Lisa Bowerman creates a soundscape that draws you into the almost claustrophobic setting. Guest voice Sharon Small (Inspector Lynley’s Sergeant Havers) differentiates the two characters she plays enough that you’re always clear which she’s playing.
The Revenants has got a few more continuity references than we’re used to – with shout outs to previous audios and novels as well as TV adventures, although it’s slightly odd to hear Ian say that they’ve never got so near to their own time as this (Planet of Giants was contemporarily set… okay, they were tiny, but it did prove that the TARDIS could get back to the right year).
Verdict: Better suited to winter than summer, this is a good advert for the range. 7/10
PS Illustrated with Ian Potter’s own suggested cover…
This story is only available as a download with the code in issue 448 of Doctor Who Magazine