The Doctor and Mike Yates land the TARDIS on an icy, snowy, dead-man’s-curve pass, blocking the way of Albert Tiermann, hand-picked storyteller of the King. But Tiermann is troubled – he’s running short on inspiration and the punishment for failing to amuse the royalty with a new story is death. The Doctor tries to bolster Tiermann’s confidence, brandishing a volume of stories that he has yet to write to prove the storyteller’s future success. Tiermann becomes obsessed with this relic of the future: it could be a shortcut to his survival and prosperity. When a demonic presence arrives to stalk the Doctor yet again, Tiermann’s obsession with the Doctor’s book of his stories leaves him dangerously vulnerable to persuasion: if he does the demon’s bidding, he may be able to claim his prize.
Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Samuel West (Albert Tiermann), Carole Boyd (Frau Herz), Jan Francis (Ice Queen), Tom Lawrence (Hans), Susan Jameson (Mrs. Wibbsey)
Timeline: after The Demon Of Paris and before Starfall, and probably still before The Ribos Operation
Notes: The Doctor asks Mike if he was present for UNIT’s battles with the Yeti (The Web Of Fear); Mike responds that he hasn’t met them yet, “at least… not yeti…”
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: A Shard Of Ice livens things up by having the story’s chief guest star narrate the proceedings. Samuel West is up to the task of playing the troubled Tiermann and recounting the story in-character, and it’s an interesting story. Tiermann is quickly established to have a huge ethical dilemma here, though this doesn’t affect his memory – this would’ve been a good time to roll out the storytelling device of the Unreliable Narrator, just to mix things up a bit.
The further the Demon Quest cycle goes, the further these stories inch away from being multi-voice audiobooks (a la the Big Finish Companion Chronicles) and creep closer to simply being full-cast audio dramas along the lines of Big Finish’s signature product. Along with Starfall, A Shard Of Ice is the best Demon Quest has to offer, and it’s a fine showcase for the fourth Doctor and friends.