Saturday, 26 September 2015

On 26.9.15 by KieronMoore in , , , ,    No comments

Bletchley Park, 1941. Britain’s greatest mathematicians oversee the cracking of Nazi codes, an effort that will turn the tide of the war. It’s a perfect setting for a Doctor Who historical, one in which Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor fits particularly well (especially once he’s toned down his clothes to blend in), and one which the franchise hasn’t visited before. 

Having found himself stranded at this point in history, the Doctor’s attempts to get his TARDIS working again bring him into conflict with a very peculiar alien – a creature composed of radio waves. It’s one of Doctor Who’s more unusual concepts, and seems very fitting for both the setting and the audio medium.

How much you get out of the story will depend on your interest in and knowledge of the period, as the use of codebreaking machines in the fight against this alien does get rather complex towards the end. Nevertheless, it’s clear that writer Matt Fitton has done his research into the era, and all the tropes familiar to fans of Second World War intrigue are present – double-crossing, code-cracking, and even a trip to a Nazi submarine.

This story is also notable for introducing a new companion; Miranda Raison gives Constance a steely, professional demeanour, making her stand out as a companion who’ll be able to stand up to the Doctor when necessary.

After last month’s The Last Adventure powerfully filled in an important gap in the Sixth Doctor’s life, Criss-Cross is a lower key adventure for Old Sixie. And yet it’s solid Doctor Who – an intriguing alien, a fitting setting, and the debut adventure of a strong new companion.


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