Sunday, 20 September 2015

The King Of The Dead

Half an hour really isn’t a long time to tell a story, you have to be concise and frugal while creating a believable world. This months Short Trips does all of these.
The King of the Dead is the latest Short Trips release, bite-sized slices of Who, talking books told by one of the actors of the era. This months release is the fifth release of the year, so is a Fifth Doctor story, set between Earthshock and Time Flight, I assume this as Tegan is still trying to get home and there is no Adric. The TARDIS actually materialises in the right time in the right place for once, 1980’s London, so far so not typical – but they have materialised in the middle of the hottest ticket in town – The King of the Dead, an interactive play, partly improvised, partly acted, where the audience wear masks. This story is at the case of the chickens coming home to roost, of events years before that the Doctor wasn’t even party to effecting the here and now, it is a revenge story, a tragedy – a real study of the effect of loss and the establishments attitude to it, sometimes a stiff upper lip isn’t the best way to deal, sometimes there should have been another way.
Sarah Sutton really brings this story to life doing reasonable impersonations of Davison and Tegan – but the magic of this story is that even though it is so short, it pulls you in and genuinely involves and intrigues you so it seems longer than it actually is.
A very worthy addition to the Short Trips range, not quite a King, but definitely an heir apparent 8/10.