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Following on directly from the previous stories the Doctor and his companions have just been reunited after the Doctor ran off and left them out of guilt. And relationships are still tense.
The story takes place on Soresia. This is planet where the dead can continue to have an existence but is existing enough? The audience gets to explore death and loss through the experiences of the well drawn characters.
All the cast give strong performances but the emotional heart lies with the return of Adric and excellent performances by Peter Davison and Matthew Waterhouse. The Doctor has been living the guilt of Adric dying for many stories, compounded by the near conversion of his latest companion Marc into a Cyberman. The Doctor and Adric get to have those conversations you can only have with people at the end of their lives.
The greatest joy, and pain, of the story is Adric gets the proper hero ending he didn’t get in Earthshock. His death finally can finally have meaning. Expect tears.
The Perils of Nellie Bly by Sarah Ward is a total contrast in comparison. A historic comedy with hilarious running around scenes and a race to the finish. Sydney Feder gives a lovely performance as the historic Nellie Bly and like all good historicals had me researching the story behind the story.
Finally in Nightmare of the Daleks, Martyn Waites is tasked with ending the Marc arc which he does in an engaging and slightly disturbing way. George Watkins as Marc has had a great run as the ancient Roman companion with a thirst for knowledge and life. Parallels with Adric have been seen throughout and this final story creates a sad but satisfying conclusion to that journey.
A great set of stories. But listen with tissues handy as you are going to need them.