For those who aren’t aware of the history and are wondering why Rufus Hound is reading a Third Doctor story, in this he’s both narrating and reprising his role as the Meddling Monk, a role that (chronologically in Doctor Who terms) he inherited from the late Peter Butterworth and played in one of the Early Adventures not that long ago. The Monk is aware that the Doctor is exiled to Earth with all of his knowledge of temporal mechanics removed by the Time Lords, and that’s not a situation that he can allow to stand. For all sorts of reasons.
Ian Atkins’ script gives some strong emphasis to Liz Shaw, who’s somewhat caught between the two Time Lords, and really isn’t exactly sure who she should trust. She’s not used to travelling in Time and Space, and Atkins emphasises the alien nature of everything to Liz – but also that, no matter where she is, her intelligence will win through.
Hound doesn’t try to impersonate Jon Pertwee or Caroline John, but there’s enough of a feel of them in his performance that you’re never uncertain who is speaking, and he rattles through the Monk’s lines with a terrific energy that demonstrates how much he seems to be enjoying himself. Steve Foxon’s sound design and Lisa Bowerman’s direction ensure that this slightly longer than average Short Trip goes by at speed.
Verdict: Rufus Hound regales us with a fun encounter. 8/10