‘THE DOOMSDAY QUATRAIN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Nostradamus Meets The Doctor
The end of the world is nigh!
‘The Doomsday Quatrain’ is another enjoyable solo adventure with Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. I had this CD as part of my first Big Finish subscription with ‘House of Blue Fire’ in 2011. I had my package in the post when I got back home from my holiday in York before going to a convention.
This story takes place directly after ‘Robophobia’ in this solo Seventh Doctor trilogy. It is still unclear where these stories take place in the Seventh Doctor’s timeline, whether they occur before; during or after Ace and Hex. Also there’s the on-going mystery of the Doctor’s TARDIS being black, not blue.
This is a four-part adventure by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie. This writing team have written adventures for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa including ‘1001 Nights’ and ‘Tomb Ship’. I like ‘Doctor Who’ stories with a mixture of historical and sci-fi elements into the mix, which is what this audio does.
This story has the Doctor trying to reach the planet Celdor. But he ends up in 16th century Florence. Frustrated, the Doctor decides to make the best of it and explore. He then meets the soothsayer Nostradamus who announces the world is going to end. And it does as the Doctor becomes puzzled!
I must admit, I didn’t know anything about Nostradamus. But then I didn’t study the Renaissance period of Earth history in school. It was quite strange listening to this story about a historical figure I knew nothing about. But that is the beauty of ‘Doctor Who’, as you learn something new every day.
I was fascinated by how this story developed from starting off as a historical adventure with the Doctor exploring and meeting Nostradamus. It soon turns into an alien invasion where the end of the world gets predicted. I was struck by the story’s twist as Renaissance Florence isn’t as it appears.
In the story, there are blue-skinned aliens called the Poldagon conducting research on the Renaissance period of Florence, Earth. A dirty deal is also struck with the alien crocodile-like Kro who wants to invade Florence. These plot elements develop as the Doctor suspects all is not as it seems.
Sylvester McCoy is brilliant as the Doctor in this adventure. I enjoyed that first scene he has in the TARDIS when he gets frustrated about not arriving on Celdor and has an argument with ‘the old girl’. The Doctor clearly suspects Nostradamus’ prophecy of doom coming true and soon gets into action.
I liked Sylvester’s Doctor using his sonic screwdriver frequently in this tale. The story weaves its way towards ‘The TV Movie’ where he has his screwdriver back. I also liked it when the Doctor uncovers Lady Garilund’s human holo-disguise, revealing her to be blue-skinned and this shocks Nostradamus.
The story’s special guest star is David Schofield as Nostradamus. David delivers an amazing performance as Nostradamus. Due to my lack of knowledge, I found I was learning more about this person in the story and David did help that along with an astounding interpretation of Nostradamus.
Nostradamus (also known as Michel de Nostradame) was a claimed seer and soothsayer back in 16th century Florence. He made prophecies and predictions about the future. Some of these were misplaced and untrue, but some were very intrigued by his prophecies on the world’s future events.
Here in this story, Nostradamus, right from the start, predicts the end of the world with crocodile monsters invading Earth and the world burning. When the Doctor discovers this actually happening in Florence, he can’t believe Earth’s history books were incorrect since this didn’t happen. Or did it?!
The guest cast also includes Caroline Keiff as Lady Garilund. Garilund is a keen researcher of the Poldagon race as she’s this eager, conscientious and driven person. She questions the work of her boss Brors and is keen to talk to Nostradamus on his prophecies of dooms as they may turn out true.
There’s also John Banks as Brors, the dodgy senior scientist of the Poldagons. There’s Derek Carlyle as Kren, a junior scientist working for Brors and is secretly in love with Garilund. And there’s Nicholas Chambers as Larrett, another research scientist who works for Brors and is ambitious and a crawler.
The monsters in this are the crocodile Kro. These are brutal and aggressive aliens who kill without a second thought. I liked the voices by the actors playing these monsters, as they sound so ferocious. They are led by the Conclave Leader who barks orders, carried out by the First and Second Nuncios.
At the end of this story, the Doctor is given a piece of paper by Lady Garilund containing a prophecy by Nostradamus. He reads the paper, but we as listeners don’t know what that prophecy is. What could this be that the Doctor’s heading off to? Will we ever find out? We’ll have to wait and see! 😀
‘The Doomsday Quatrain’ is a delightfully enjoyable audio adventure with the Seventh Doctor. It’s opened my eyes to a period of history I’ve not studied and introduced me to Nostradamus. I enjoyed the performances of Sylvester McCoy and David Scholfield and wondered what would happen next.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there are two tracks of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. These include interviews with Sylvester McCoy; David Schofield; Caroline Keiff and director Ken Bentley. There’s a trailer for the next story with the Doctor called ‘House of Blue Fire’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Doomsday Quatrain’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘The Doomsday Quatrain’. There’s also a bonus Short Trip called ‘Neptune’ with the Third Doctor, read by Beth Chalmers.
‘The Doomsday Quatrain’ rating – 8/10
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