Doctor Who: The Magician's Oath
by Scott Handcock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A somewhat wistful story narrated by Richard Franklin, playing Captain Mike Yates. The story begins with the haunting scene of a crowd of people frozen solid in Hyde Park by what appears to be freak weather conditions. UNIT investigate, and discover a rather unusual person behind the incident - an exiled alien criminal, who has no memory of who he is. Or doesn't until the Doctor accidentally restores those memories.
The story does a good job of playing on the parallels between the exiled alien criminal and the Doctor (who is, at this point in his history, also an exiled alien criminal whose memories have been tampered with), without being too heavy-handed about it. Primarily, though, this story is a character piece for Yates.
I am a bit unsure about the author's decision to give Yates an unrequited love for Jo Grant. I know that he was introduced as a potential romantic interest for Jo, and that that never really paid off in the show. I've just always preferred to believe that they dated a couple of times and then decided to be just friends. It seems more in keeping with the (lack of?) onscreen chemistry between the characters. And Yates has enough regrets from his UNIT days without saddling him with unrequited love as well.
I think Richard Franklin manages the least convincing Jon Pertwee impression of any of the Third Doctor Companion Chronicles narrators I've heard so far, but his renderings of the Brigadier and Jo Grant are reasonably convincing. View all my reviews >>