BBC Audio adventure, Dec. 23, 1967 - Jan 27, 1968
This adventure is rather good overall. Patrick Troughton gets to play bad and good and there are multiple villains, too. Salamander is finally a clever bad guy as he is taking over the world from within the system, instead of just attacking it in obvious ways. The first half is really amazing and intense. Somehow, when the people in the shelter are revealed to be there and the ones causing the natural disasters, the storyline just loses its intensity. Five years underground, believing everything Salamander tells them??? Goodness. Meanwhile, he “invents” a solar energy projector to help crops grow. Probably the results of something these people have invented, though they’re all rather young from what’s said—20 years or younger.
Jamie and Victoria actually get to go have adventures of their own to further the plot, too. And Victoria isn’t completely useless in this one. She talks to people and tries to help, though ultimately, she is threatened in order to make Jamie talk. Naturally. It always seems to come down to that, no matter what. The companions are threatened to make the Doctor talk, one companion’s threatened to make the other one talk, just the way of things! Astrid and Kent are the main opposition to Salamander, apparently. But the story turns all around and no one is as they seem. And people die you wouldn’t necessarily expect, too. So it’s a really good story until almost the end, with the explosions and people underground and all hidden in the research station. And I love that Patrick Troughton gets to show what he can do. And impersonates someone else impersonating the Doctor! Sweet!
Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, and Deborah Watling
writer: David Whitaker
director: Barry Letts
read by: Frazer Hines