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The Integral with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
‘The Integral’ is a two-part adventure by David Bartlett, set at the Aspen Base treatment centre. This audio story features the Second Doctor with his two companions, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot.
The story is performed by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury. I tried my best to enjoy this adventure with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. But somehow I found this adventure pretty average overall.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were some interesting concepts in this adventure concerning the Integral. But there was a lot of talking between the characters about the plot and not enough action.
In the story, the TARDIS lands at the Aspen Base following an argument between Jamie and Zoe. They find the place containing people who played a violent video game that made them murderous.
The Integral were interesting as an alien species in the story. From the front cover of the CD set, the Integral’s appearance is like a spaceman with a domed head that has jelly suspending a brain inside.
They also happen to be pretty intelligent and highly telepathic. They’re responsible for keeping the inmates in the Aspen Base sedated by having this regression field that controls their angry emotions.
This story is mostly narrated by Wendy Padbury who plays Zoe in the story. Frazer Hines only plays the Doctor and Jamie in the audio, so it was nice to hear Wendy reading the story all the way in this.
Wendy Padbury is lovely as Zoe in this adventure. I’ve met Wendy at conventions and enjoyed seeing her at the ‘Regenerations 2016’ convention. It is fun that the tale’s from Zoe’s point-of-view.
From the start, Zoe and Jamie argue about how they see things differently from their points of view. Jamie complains that they come across aliens wanting to kill them every time they have adventures.
It was interesting how Zoe reacts to Jamie’s hostile attitude, since she does use anger to fuel his arguments and emotions whereas he does. This is due to the fact Jamie came from the 18th century.
Zoe applies logic and reasoning as she usually does in this adventure. She tries to see all points of view and is clearly fond of Jamie, even though she does tease and gets concerned for his well being.
Wendy also does the voices of Ash and Elm, the Integrals that feature in this audio adventure. In this audio, Wendy’s voice is treated when she does Ash and Elm, making them sound deeper and alien.
Ash has some interesting scenes with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe in this story and she seems to be the high-ranking Integral at Aspen Base. It was interesting how she views Jamie’s anger in the story.
Elm isn’t really that different from Ash. This was where I struggled to find any character identification for the Integrals as they seemed similar. Elm does get killed for ‘Episode Two’s climax.
Wendy also does the voice of Edvard, the scientist who creates the machine to eventually replace the Integral. Edvard turns out to be the villain, although he does get to work with the Doctor for this.
A thing to note is that some scenes are narrated in the third person by Wendy Padbury. This is when Edvard treats inmate Morgan during ‘Episode One’ and when Jamie is with Ash during ‘Episode Two’.
Frazer Hines as ever delivers superb performances as Jamie and the Doctor in this audio. It was interesting how this explores Jamie’s anger issues and how he’s using anger as a means of strength.
The Doctor gets to be a referee between Jamie and Zoe as well as working with Edvard a lot. It would have been nice to have heard more scenes between him, Jamie and Zoe during the audio tale.
‘The Integral’ isn’t a very inspired audio adventure for me. It has some decent performances from Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines, but there was something missing from this that did not excite me.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of the disc, there are interviews with Frazer Hines, writer David Bartlett and producer Ian Atkins. I’m rather disappointed Wendy Padbury wasn’t interviewed.
‘The Integral’ rating – 6/10
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