This final story in the trilogy starts off unusually with a flashback to one of the Seventh Doctor and Mel’s first adventures, during Season 24 and crashes into the title music with a nice little yank of the rug out from underneath the audience’s expectations. The rest of the story picks up countless years later with Mel back travelling with the Doctor and Ace… although there are times that you really might wonder if this is still set in Season 24. Sophie Aldred makes an astute observation in the extras that she had to be very careful with the way she presented the lines otherwise Ace would not have come over properly – and while her side story is an interesting one, it really does feel like a regression to a much earlier version of the character.
It’s interesting having the juxtaposition of one of the plans here with the way in which similar ideas are presented in Doom Coalition 3 – someone wants to go back and change the past so that the present isn’t so dreadful (being deliberately vague on details to avoid spoilers for either story) – and I’m afraid it’s the latter that’s a more credible version. Yes, I know the TV Movie sees exactly that happening; that’s something that just has to be accepted – it’s not a sensible way of handling every story.
Those reservations aside, there’s a lot to enjoy in Maker of Demons – Matthew J. Elliot uses language cleverly, evoking the Shakespearean elements of the story while still giving it its own identity (the way in which subordinates acknowledge orders for example). There’s a dark cynicism at work throughout, from that first pre-credits twist to the Doctor’s final decision, and some strong performances across the board.
Verdict: A solid adventure for the reunited team. 7/10