‘POINT OF ENTRY’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Kit Marlowe and Velez with the Sixth Doctor and Peri
Here’s another imaginative and inventive ‘Doctor Who’ story from the mind of Barbara Clegg!
‘Point of Entry’ is the sixth story in the Lost Season 23 (or Season 22B as producer David Richardson calls it) of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish. Again, this is another story not originally scheduled for the Lost Season 23 back in 1985. In fact, it’s one of four story ideas pitched by Barbara Clegg to ‘Doctor Who’.
Barbara Clegg is well-known in ‘Doctor Who’ circles for being the writer of the Fifth Doctor adventure, ‘Enlightenment’. Not many people knew that Barbara Clegg also submitted other ‘Doctor Who’ stories to the ‘Doctor Who’ production office. But sadly these never saw the light of day on TV.
Thankfully Big Finish saw potential in Barbara Clegg’s story ideas and decided to use them. At least two were made. One was ‘The Elite’ featuring the Fifth Doctor and the other was ‘Point of Entry’ featuring the Sixth Doctor. This story by Barbara Clegg was adapted into audio by writer Marc Platt.
Marc Platt is a renowned writer in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’. He first wrote ‘Ghost Light’ for Sylvester McCoy on TV before writing many Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ stories including ‘Spare Parts’. Marc’s imaginative stance with writing suits Barbara Clegg’s story of ‘Point of Entry’ superbly.
‘Point of Entry’ is a 2 x 50 minute episode story in the Lost Season 23 of ‘Doctor Who’, suiting many Sixth Doctor tales that were shown on TV that had longer episodes. With the exception of ‘Paradise 5’ and ‘The Song of Megaptera’, most of the adventures in the Lost Season 23 have longer episodes.
It’s intriguing to note many of the ‘Lost Stories’ by Big Finish done by writers for TV weren’t adapted into audio by those original writers. This is due to the original writers unable to adapt the stories for audio either because of busyness; old age or death. So other writers adapted these stories for them.
During the scripting stages of ‘Point of Entry’ by Marc Platt, Barbara gave her approval every step of the way with a few subtle suggestions. So did I find ‘Point of Entry’ good when I heard it? I found it pretty decent, but it didn’t have the same impact on me as ‘The Elite’ and ‘Enlightenment’ did previously.
The story is set in 16th Century England and features the playwright Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe. The Doctor and Peri visit Elizabethan England where Marlowe has been visited by the villainous Spainard called Velez. Apparently, Velez is searching for a stone blade that was brought from South America.
The Doctor and Peri discover that Marlowe has been ensnared by Velez’s tempting offers. They try to save him as the alien Omnim are about to make their invasion via their ‘point of entry’. Can the Doctor and Peri with Marlowe’s help get this stone knife first before Velez utilizes it for his evil ends?
I must admit I’m not familiar with Christopher Marlowe’s writing or seen any theatre productions of his plays made recently. I found this story fascinating in terms of its historical content and context. I was discovering something new in learning what Kit Marlowe was like as an Elizabethan playwright.
It was interesting to discover that Kit Marlowe was attempting to write ‘Doctor Faustus’ during the events of this story. I’m not sure if what happened during ‘Point of Entry’ inspired Marlowe to write what he wanted in ‘Doctor Faustus’, but it’s an intriguing take how the Doctor and Peri get involved.
It was pretty spooky and eerie when Kit Marlowe was dealing with dark forces involving Don Lerenzo Velez the Spaniard. From listening to the audio, I assumed Velez was an actual historical figure that Marlowe encountered in real-life. I certainly got that impression whilst I was listening to this drama.
The story also involves an asteroid which drags the TARDIS down to Earth in the first place. The story also has an influence of the Aztecs, especially concerning the dagger when people are being killed. It was quite a challenge to find the balance of the Aztecs and Elizabeth England in the same audio tale.
I enjoyed Colin Baker’s performance as the Doctor in this adventure. I like how he interacts with Marlowe and how he looks out for Peri as his companion. I’ve noticed that Colin’s Doctor isn’t as brash as he was from the beginning of his tenure. He has mellowed as he seems friendlier with Peri.
I got a thrill of excitement when the Doctor ventured into another dimension/reality that was like a death-like dream in order to find Peri. I also enjoyed the Doctor’s interaction with Sir Francis Walsingham and when he was being tortured and didn’t seem to be too bothered by the experience.
The Doctor has a huge respect for Kit Marlowe and his writing. He becomes concerned when the villainous Velez causes trouble. I like how the Doctor works out a plan with Peri and Marlowe in order to get the stone knife before Velez gets his hands on it and before the Omnim invade Earth.
Nicola Bryant stood out for me as Peri in this audio adventure. I liked the friendly banter Peri shared with the Doctor in this adventure, especially in the scene when she decides what clothes to wear and the Doctor chooses for her. She also gets so concerned while repulsed with poor old ‘Mad Jack’.
Peri tries to look out for old Jack who has lost his tongue and is in a filthy state when she and the Doctor find him badly treated and manacled. I enjoyed the scenes Peri shares with Tom when looking for Marlowe. It was disturbing when Peri looked into a mirror and got sucked into a death-like world.
There are scenes where Peri gets possessed by the alien Omnim to speak on their behalf before the Doctor. I especially enjoyed it when Peri gets to dress up as Queen Elizabeth I and put on a posh royal English accent. I’m so thankful that the real Queen Elizabeth I wasn’t there for the actual story.
Matt Addis guest stars as Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe in the story. As well as this story, Matt Addis has guest starred in a number of Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ including ‘The Children of Seth’ and ‘Robophobia’. I really enjoyed Matt’s interpretation of Kit Marlowe throughout this audio adventure.
Kit Marlowe came across as pretty frustrated with his writing early on at the beginning of the story. He even takes offence to the Doctor’s well-meant words to him in ‘Part One’. I’m sure I appreciate that with me writing on my blog and getting so frustrated with how I write stories as well as reviews.
When Kit meets Velez, he sees an opportunity he can’t refuse in order to be inspired in writing ‘Doctor Faustus’. Kit isn’t really the bad guy in this story, although he does tend to switch sides when he’s with the Doctor and Peri and when he’s with Velez. It’s not clear what his true motives are here.
Luis Soto guest stars as Don Lorenzo Velez in the adventure. I don’t know much about Luis Soto as an actor, although he has been in ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Emmerdale’ as well as appearing in ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’. Luis Soto has a Spanish side to him and he delivers a sinister performance as Velez.
I’m not sure what to make Velez as a character in the story, although he seems to be pretty devil-like as indicated on the front cover with his deformed and red skull-like face. It’s a pretty disturbing image and one that I don’t want to see often at night. 😀 Velez is clearly in league with the alien Omnin invaders.
It’s interesting how Velez meets Kit Marlowe in that first scene of the story. He gets his underling Iguano to do his work and is insistent when demanding the stone knife he wants. He gets to show Marlowe the future, tempting him to work for him in exchange for the inspiration he needs to write.
The guest cast also includes Tam Williams (who was in ‘Hunters of Earth’ in the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series) as Tom, Marlowe’s best friend and possible love interest. There’s also Ian Brooker (who I’d first listened to in ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’) as Sir Francis Walsingham.
There’s also Sean Connolly (who I first heard in ‘Time Reef’ and ‘A Perfect World’) as Iguano and Captain Garland. There’s also Gemma Wardle as Aly and Alex Mallinson as Jack. Alex Mallinson mainly contributes to the Big Finish audios by providing the CD covers and the booklets for the stories.
The CD extras are as follows. At the start of Disc 1, there’s a trailer for ‘The Song of Megaptera’ with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. At the end of Discs 1 and 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Matt Addis, Luis Soto, etc.
‘Point of Entry’ isn’t what I call a winner over ‘The Elite’ and ‘Enlightenment’ as stories by Barbara Clegg. But it’s clearly inventive and imaginative. I liked the historical setting, the creative stance provided by Marc Platt and the brilliant performances of Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Doctor and Peri.
‘Point of Entry’ rating – 7/10
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