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
Alan Cotton: 'Winter Sun at Hartland'.

Alan Cotton – the internationally renowned artist from Colaton Raleigh – has been invited by Exeter’s Brook Gallery to select work from a range of artists for a new exhibition.

Read more
Mon, 18:30
Tamsin Waley-Cohen. Photo: Patrick Allen.

Budleigh Music Festival 2016 will get off to a scintillating start on Friday, July 8, with a performance by La Nuova Musica.

Read more
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Eduardo Niebla. Photo: Harry Dutton.

Spanish guitarist and composer Eduardo Niebla – described as ‘world-class’ by Time Out and hailed by The Guardian for his ‘exquisite’ guitar playing and lyrical, poignantly poetic style – is making a ‘welcome’ return to Otterton Mill, near Budleigh Salterton, in July.

Read more
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Raddon Hill Clog Morris at West Country Traditions Day. Photo: Paul Strange.

It’s all getting rather jolly down at The Bicton Inn on Bicton Street in Exmouth.

Read more
Friday, June 24, 2016
Devon Dub Fest

The Devon Dub Fest – a three-day family event celebrating the iconic Volkswagen – is coming soon.

Read more
Friday, June 24, 2016
Ottery Pixies head down to the Square. Ref sho 1201-26-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Hoards of pesky peak-capped youngsters are set to take Ottery St Mary by storm as part of the Pixie Day celebrations tomorrow (Saturday, June 25).

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Jeanne Marley, daughter of Reg Varney, at the Fairlynch Museum's Reg Varney exhibition in Budleigh.

The daughter of On The Buses actor Reg Varney has spoken of her gratitude to the people of Budleigh for the way in which her father’s centenary is being celebrated in the town.

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016
The Beach Boys Band

The Beach Boys Band – a tribute show performing the greatest hits of the Beach Boys – is coming to the Exmouth Pavilion on Saturday, July 9.

Read more
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
The Simmertones

The Simmertones – the South West ska and reggae band – are playing a free show at 2pm at the Exmouth Pavilion on Saturday, June 25.

Read more
Monday, June 20, 2016
Anando Mukerjee and Laure Meloy.

A musical evening is being held at Bicton Gardens near Budleigh Salterton in July, to raise money for two local charities – Hospiscare and Dream-A-Way.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications