‘THE INGENIOUS GENTLEMAN ADRIC OF ALZARIUS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Dragons and Giants with Adric
This story is by Julian Richards and is read by Matthew Waterhouse. It features Adric with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan.
‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ is quite a long title for this Short Trip audio of ‘Doctor Who’. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable and entertaining Short Trip audio from Big Finish. This audio tale is decently-written and it does have some nice character development for Adric here.
I enjoyed Matthew Waterhouse’s narration of this audio tale throughout. Matthew has read quite a number of ‘Doctor Who’ audiobooks beforehand, including the Target novelization/audiobooks. So I knew I was going to be engaged with this story and have a good time hearing Matthew Waterhouse.
This story features Adric in a village on an alien world. Early on in the story, he gets knocked out before waking up with some lost memories. It then turns out Adric is the loyal squire of Sir Keeyoht of la Koura. Adric accompanies Sir Keeyoht on his noble quest in order to stop the villainous Doctor.
I was curious about what was going on and why Adric couldn’t remember his friends, the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. I wanted to know what it was all about and why Adric has been recruited to help this Sir Keeyoht on his quest to fight giants; windmills; dragons and rescue a princess in a blue tower.
It transpires in the story that Sir Keeyoht is a duplicate of the Fourth Doctor before he regenerated into the Fifth. This was made clear to me early on when Sir Keeyoht was described as having curly hair and had a toothy grin. It also helps with Matthew Waterhouse doing Tom Baker’s voice for this.
I actually like this concept of Adric meeting Sir Keeyoht who is very much like the Fourth Doctor and who he misses so much. I wished that this became an audio drama. We could’ve had Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse with Tom Baker guest star as the main villain.
This story didn’t turn out exactly the way I imagined, as I was expecting it to be a high drama with Adric being brainwashed and the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa trying to stop him killing them. But since this a short story in the Short Trips audio range, it would have been tricky to tell that within thirty minutes.
It’s interesting how the Fifth Doctor happens to be the villain for Sir Keeyoht and Adric in the story. Again, it’s due to the fact that Adric prefers the Fourth Doctor over the Fifth Doctor. This was implied in stories like ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Divided Loyalties’ that indicated Adric’s missing the Fourth Doctor.
It was also interesting what roles Nyssa and Tegan played in the story, although we don’t actually have them play those roles. Tegan happens to be the princess whereas Nyssa is the Doctor’s henchwoman. Not to disrespect Julian Richards, but I would have preferred it the other way around.
I did feel that the story sagged a bit in the middle, especially when Sir Keeyoht and Adric were fighting giants and windmills. It was also a little disappointing when it built up to its climax and it was revealed what was going on when Adric reunited with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan in the tale.
Apparently this was a fantasy created by Adric based on his subconscious from a machine on the alien planet. Now while I don’t dispute this being a neat concept in the story, it does get rather resolved too quickly. This is especially when Sir Keeyhot seems to accept who he is when turning up.
I liked some of the continuity references featured in this story related to Adric and the Fourth Doctor’s past. This includes the Fourth Doctor’s adventures in ‘State of Decay’ and ‘Warriors’ Gate’. There’s also Sir Keeyoht’s steed that could be similar to K-9 as well as him calling for Romana’s name.
Just to point out, this story takes place when the Fifth Doctor still has his sonic screwdriver before it got destroyed in ‘The Visitation’. Reading from other sources, I assume that this story takes place between ‘Cold Fusion’ and ‘Four To Doomsday’ where the Doctor has the sonic screwdriver on him.
‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ is a decent Short Trip audio from Big Finish. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I enjoyed listening to it. Matthew Waterhouse is very good reading this tale and I personally enjoyed it when he voiced Tegan, the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Sir Keeyoht here.
When you purchase ‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ as a download from Big Finish, you’ll get the following extra. There’s a music suite by Rob Harvey to enjoy. I’m disappointed there wasn’t a music suite provided for ‘A Heart on Both Sides’ with Sarah Sutton when I purchased that from Big Finish.
‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ rating – 7/10
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