Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
Sometimes you just catch lightning in a bottle; this is one of those times. James Goss has written a story that exists in a very specific moment in time; when movies went from silent to ‘talkies’. When you get a time like that there is a natural fear from those involved in silent film to draw on as a story. This is just fun from beginning to end.
This story feels like you could drop it into the 4th Doctor’s (Tom Baker) time at some point and it would blend seamlessly story wise, but they have enhanced it with modern story telling techniques and pacing. The 4th Doctor gets to be silly and fun and pretend he just popped in as a fan of an actress, Romana (Lalla Ward) gets to be a little cynical as always but maybe with a lighter caring side too and K9 (John Leeson) is as always the fish out of water that somehow is easily explained away. This tale is also not scared of letting the 4th Doctor be as silly and over the top as only Tom Baker can get away with. The story is so simple (stars of silent film are having their voices stolen) that is seems like someone should have thought of it before and with a running time of just over an hour it tells the story neatly and ends when it should.
I think the hand of Nicholas Briggs as the director is evident in the pitch perfect pacing and guest casting. I’d give examples of the great guest cast; but that is the entire cast list this time.
I give this one a silent but deadly 10/10!
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