‘LURKERS AT SUNLIGHT’S EDGE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Alaska with the Doctor, Ace and Hex
Wrap yourself warm! It’s going to get cold from now on!
‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’ is another adventure starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex. This is an eerie and disturbing four-part story by Marty Ross. Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, it’s set inside the citadel of an Alaskan island in 1934.
The story has the Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive off the coast of Alaska to discover this long-forgotten island with a citadel. They venture forth to find an expedition led by a ruthless man and a horror writer with a secret he doesn’t know. Can our trio find out what’s going on in this?!
I can’t help but admit I’m rather disappointed with this audio drama. It’s not because the story’s bad. The story is quite interesting. But I do feel ‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’ doesn’t match to the brilliance of the latest two Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex audio stories which I enjoyed very much.
Also I felt that I lost my way when listening to this story. It’s starts well at the beginning with ‘Part One’ and ends well with ‘Part Four’. But with ‘Parts Two and Three’, I couldn’t help with feel a bit muddled about some of the characters; what was going on and where everything was.
I’ve never heard of Lovecraft and the sci-fi/horror works he did before listening to this play. I found some of the literary references interesting, but I still couldn’t help but feel slightly detached to what was going on. I’ll have to listen to the adventure again to get a firm grasp of it.
I did like some of the character performances by the actors featured in this play, especially with the regulars who connected to some of the supporting cast. Homing in on the eerie and surreal aspects of the characters got me intrigued and disturbed as I expected the writer meant to here.
I was surprised yet pleased that Hex was still travelling with the Doctor and Ace, despite what happened in ‘Project: Destiny’ and ‘A Death in the Family’. Here we see what the TARDIS team are usually best at in having adventures in time and space. They seem well-settled by this point.
Hex gets separated from the Doctor and Ace in this one. I wondered how this TARDIS trio would be reunited again and whether they would survive the dangers. The Doctor and Ace get to meet the Lovecraftian horror-comics author, whilst Hex gets into mortal danger with other characters.
Sylvester McCoy delivers, as ever, a great performance as the Doctor. I do feel that the Doctor isn’t manipulative as he tends to be and gets into trouble easily with being locked up. I liked the behind-the-scenes story that Sylvester has been to Alaska already before he recorded this audio.
Sophie Aldred is delightful as Ace. I liked it that Ace gets to have her own adventure in this. Here we have a side of Ace rarely seen, as she displays a gentler, caring side when she connects to D.C. Doveday. I really like this side to Ace compared to that usual, gun-ho manner she has in her.
Philip Olivier is equally good as Hex. He also has his own adventure and gets to display his nurse caring skills again. Hex is upset when Whytecrag seemingly kills the Doctor and Ace once separated from them. I like the bond he has with Professor Corbin and when defying Whytecrag.
The guest cast includes Michael Brandon as C.P. Doveday. Michael has been in the TV series of ‘Doctor Who’ in the episode ‘The Stolen Earth’.* Doveday writes the ‘Shuddersome Tales’ stories. I like Michael’s performance as Doveday from slightly innocent to increasingly disturbed.
Stuart Milligan guest stars as Emerson Whytecrag. Stuart has appeared in the TV series as Richard Nixon in the two-part story ‘The Impossible Astronaut’/’Day of the Moon’. Whytecrag is pretty menacing. He leads an expedition and attempts to kill the Doctor and Ace with a grenade.
The cast also includes Kate Terence as Dr. Freya Gabriel, who has hypnotised C.P. Doveday and Alex Lowe as Professor August Corbin of Whytecrag’s expedition. There’s also Samuel Clemens as Slade, who works for Whytecrag and Duncan Wisbey as Captain Akins, who works for Dr. Gabriel.
The lurkers are the alien Karnas’koi, described as vast and wing-like. They sound scary on audio and look it from the images of claw-hands on the CD sleeve notes. It turns out Doveday is one of these Karnas’koi, but he doesn’t know this, as he’s been hypnotised by Gabriel to avoid knowing.
The story ends with the Doctor, Ace and Hex escaping the citadel on the Alaskan island. But Doveday has been left behind. They return to the TARDIS, as Hex cleans himself up whilst Ace is sad and solemn. The Doctor reassures Ace about Doveday and it’s a sweet way to end this story.
‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’ hasn’t been an overly satisfying audio to listen to. It’s not the best story I’ve heard, but it’s far from worse. I’ve enjoyed listening to the Doctor, Ace and Hex as the TARDIS trio they’ve become. I’m wondering what will happen to them and where they’ll go next.
Just to mention, the TARDIS’ exterior has been white since ‘The Angel of Scutari’. I’m still wondering why it’s white and hasn’t reverted back to being a blue police box yet. I’d have to find out more whilst I was listening to the next set of audio stories that featured the Seventh Doctor.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there’s a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there’s a trailer for ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’ via a 6 or 12 CD/download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’.
*Thanks to Timelord007 for mentioning Michael Brandon’s appearance in ‘The Stolen Earth’.
‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’ rating – 6/10
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