‘The Sons of Grekk’ (Annual/Audio)

 

‘THE SONS OF GREKK’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The First Doctor Becomes a Prisoner of the Sons of Grekk

It’s time for some stories from the annuals of ‘Doctor Who’!

I purchased ‘The Doctor Who Audio Annual’ 2-disc CD in early 2018 from Cardiff because I wanted to hear ‘The Penalty’ story featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan for my ‘Nyssa Challenge’ reviews. My original plans for reviewing this CD have changed since, but I’m glad I’ve heard it now.

‘The Doctor Who Audio Annual’ is a collection of certain stories featured from various ‘Doctor Who Annuals’ over the years that are now read by actors who have played characters in the TV series. The stories themselves feature the Doctors from 1 to 6, so no new series Doctors can be found in this CD.

I was looking forward to hearing these stories and finding out what they’d be like on audio from the pages of the ‘Doctor Who Annuals’. The stories themselves are essentially like those in the Short Trip audios by Big Finish. I knew they wouldn’t be exactly the same, but I guessed the style was still there.

The stories are as follows. There’s ‘The Sons of Grekk’ with the First Doctor; ‘The King of Golden Death’ with the Second Doctor; ‘Dark Intruders’ with the Third Doctor; ‘Conundrum’ with the Fourth Doctor; ‘The Penalty’ with the Fifth Doctor and ‘The Real Hereward’ with the Sixth Doctor.

The CD begins with ‘Who is Doctor Who?’ read by Peter Purves from the 1966 ‘Doctor Who Annual’. This was a feature in the 1966 ‘Doctor Who Annual’ describing the character of the Doctor and his TARDIS. The descriptions for the Doctor’s character are richly verbose and very majestic to listen to.

The first story of ‘The Doctor Who Audio Annual’ is ‘The Sons of Grekk’ from the 1967 ‘Doctor Who Annual’. It’s read by Peter Purves who played Steven Taylor in the TV series. The story features only the First Doctor as he journeys alone without companions. There’s no Ian, Barbara, Susan or Steven!

Interesting on where this story is placed in the First Doctor’s timeline. Aside from that, Peter Purves is a superb narrator for this First Doctor tale, especially as he’s proven he can do a good First Doctor voice for the BBC and Big Finish audios. He captures the authenticity of William Hartnell’s voice well.

‘The Sons of Grekk’ sees the First Doctor visiting an alien planet where he stops an assassination taking place. Instead of being grateful, the Sons of Grekk accuse the Doctor for being a spy and throw him into a pit where insect-like creatures are there. The Doctor receives help from the insects.

An interesting point to note is that the Doctor keeps getting referred to as ‘Dr. Who’ throughout the story. This is ironic since the Doctor never calls himself ‘Dr. Who’ in the TV series both in classic and new eras. It’s these stories in the 1960s annuals and comics that have him referred to as ‘Dr. Who’.

The insect-like creatures that the Doctor encounters are friendly ones and prisoners like him by the Sons of Grekk. There are spider-like creatures; cockroaches; butterflies and turtles. The story did seem to be rushed towards the end, especially as the Doctor departed inside the TARDIS so abruptly.

‘The Sons of Grekk’ rating – 5/10


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