‘Interstitial’ and ‘Feast of Fear’, a double-header, form the latest Monthly Adventures release. They also sit in the middle of the current trilogy, following the story of new companion, and former Roman slave, Marc (George Watkins) who was introduced in last month’s ‘Tartarus‘.
Marc gets his first taste of time travel when the TARDIS lands them in the midst of a temporal experiment. Implemented by an ambitious 30th Century scientist, the fallout splits the regulars across two time zones in the same location. It is a familiar one for fans too, on a space station of the same design as the Nerva Beacon from Season 12.
Carl Rowens’ story plays with the concept of interstitial time, as looked at in ‘The Time Monster’, and creates an entertaining puzzle for the crew to solve. The regulars are well employed and the guests both excellent too, especially Anna-Maria Nabirye’s amoral Kalu.
Feast of Fear
Set in famine-ravaged 19th Century Ireland, ‘Feast of Fear’ involves a sinister travelling show. With the Doctor already ensnared, and Nyssa under a malign influence, the story begins with Tegan and Marc’s attempts to mount a rescue.
Martyn Waites’ story is full of entertaining horror vibes and gifts Sarah Sutton an altered version of Nyssa, one she clearly revels in performing. On paper, the story might provoke comparisons with ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ but this is a more straightforward affair with a denouement that felt rather more new series in tone.
We enjoyed the evocative setting and particularly liked the spoken acknowledgement of Nyssa and Tegan’s friendship. Marc’s use of Terrance Dicks’ infamous description of the Doctor’s “pleasant, open face” caused a chuckle too.
The two-parters make for a pleasing gear change, with contrasting types of story on offer; one harder sci-fi, the other creepy pseudo-historical. They are a great showcase for fresh talent and both the writers appear to know their Doctor Who onions.
Marc receives good development across these stories, paired first with the Doctor and then Tegan. Despite his lack of worldly (and otherworldly) experience comes across as bright and adaptable. However, the shadow of Adric’s death still looms large for this TARDIS crew and there is an ill-fated precedent for a historical companion. We look forward to next month’s ‘Warzone / Conversion’ with some trepidation!