Point of Entry
by Barbara Clegg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another story that somehow manages to be less than the sum of its parts. I ought to have loved
this story, featuring as it does Elizabethan London, Christopher Marlowe, and some seriously creepy alien technology masquerading as Aztec magic. Not to mention that Peri gets to take some initiative, and gets to impersonate Queen Elizabeth to comic effect.
And yet, the creepy bits weren't quite creepy enough, the funny bits weren't quite funny enough, and Marlowe's portrayal ended up on the wrong side of the fine line between obsessed and tormented genius and self-indulgent whiner. That last issue might be the key here - I think the story is most effective when we can see Marlowe as a parallel to his own Faustus - driven by the desire for knowledge to bargain with demonic powers. But the problem is, we're in a Doctor Who
story, which means that the Doctor is right on hand to explain to Marlowe why he's making a big mistake. Perhaps there is some combination of script and performance that would maintain our sympathy with Marlowe even while he defies the Doctor, but the play as recorded doesn't quite manage it. View all my reviews >>