Audio Review: Doctor Who – The Aztecs

10:46 24 August 2012

Doctor Who - The Aztecs

Doctor Who - The Aztecs

Archant

(AudioGo)

THIS is the story which established historical ground rules for Doctor Who which are directly challenged by subsequent adventures to the point whereby the show now celebrates the fact that “history can be re-written”.

When the Doctor warns teacher Barbara Wright that “not one line” of known history can be altered, he effectively places himself and his companions in the roles of detached observers, watching over events but doing nothing to alter what subsequently appears in the history books.

Had that remained the situation then much of the drama in the series would have been lost, as part of the fun of later stories is seeing the time travellers interfering in the past with almost reckless abandon, including starting legendary fires in 1st century Rome and 17th century London, saving Queen Victoria from a werewolf, and writing “This is a fake!” on the canvas used for assorted duplicates of the Mona Lisa.

The premise here is simple, yet effective. After arriving in 15th century Mexico, Barbara is mistaken for a reincarnation of the ancient Aztec high priest Yetaxa, and decides to use her newfound influence to bring an end to the culture’s propensity for human sacrifice in a bid to save them from extinction when the Spanish Conquistadors arrive…

In the meantime, the Doctor finds himself unexpectedly engaged when sharing a cup of cocoa, Ian is forced into the military, and Susan transgresses Aztec law by refusing the marry their Perfect Victim, who has been scheduled for sacrifice on the day of the next solar eclipse.

In many ways, this is the archetypal Doctor Who historical, free of alien invaders, fulfilling the series’ original remit to be both educational and entertaining, and offering a thrilling episodic adventure for the main cast.

However, it is also a first-rate example of British television drama, a story which stands up to repeat viewing almost 50 years after it was first screened, and in this format, a novelisation which succeeds in expanding upon the events on screen and building a much more detailed picture of this time-lost world, even though the odd anachronism slips through.

Original series companion William (Ian Chesterton) Russell might be in his late eighties, but he can still spin a ripping yarn. His vocal talents have enjoyed a renaissance as of late, with readings of Who novels and appearances in spin-off audios as Ian, and this continues here with a first-rate reading of John Lucarotti’s novel.

0 comments

Other Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 18:30

There’s plenty coming up at the Bicton Inn in Exmouth’s Bicton Street.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

The Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) in Honiton is offering a guided exhibition talk as part of its winter art activities.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:55

Exmouth’s Third Age Project is continuing its January season of weekly talks with some additional events.

Read more
Wed, 17:00

The Membury Merrymakers will present an original pantomime, written by Nat Bruzon, at the end of the month.

Read more
Wed, 11:30

The curtain has already gone up on the Exmouth Players’ production of The Witches, adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl’s book, at Exmouth’s Blackmore Theatre.

Read more
Tue, 16:58

Girl band Little Mix have announced a UK summer tour, including a show at Powderham Castle, near Exeter.

Read more
Mon, 17:18

John Shillito’s ‘Select Four’ will be performing in Dalwood this weekend.

Read more
Mon, 15:28

Alice in Wonderland – a magical musical show for the whole family – is coming to the Exmouth Pavilion on Thursday, February 16.

Read more
Sunday, January 15, 2017

A new fun night is coming up at The Oddfellows in Exmouth’s High Street.

Read more
Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Fisherman’s Friends - the original buoy band - are at the Exmouth Pavilion at 7.30pm on Friday, February 3. 
Bound together by lifelong friendship and shared experience, the Fisherman’s Friends have a full catch of new material and some old favourites.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 2°C

min temp: -1°C

Most Read Entertainment

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications