The TARDIS materializes on Artaris, exactly one millennium after the Doctor’s previous visit. But it has landed in the wrong place at the wrong time: a robbery is underway in the prestigious museum in the city of Excelis, and the sudden appearance of a blue police box and its colorfully-dressed occupant is just one more mystery for the investigators to solve. The Doctor learns that the Relic itself – which, in his fifth incarnation, he had helped to find – was the target of the robbery, and is astonished to see a familiar face arrive to take charge of the investigation. The man the Doctor knew as Lord Grayvorn is known to the citizens of Excelis as Reeve Maupassant, but he’s definitely the same man – he recognizes the TARDIS, and somehow even recognizes the Doctor, and he is apparently still suffering side-effects of coming into direct contact with the Relic. When the museum curator and one of the break-in suspects are killed in a grisly manner, Maupassant eagerly declares the Doctor to be the culprit. But can the Doctor prove his innocence, much less prove that a thousand-year-old warlord is trying to steal the Relic for himself?
Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Anthony Stewart Head (Reeve Maupassant), Charles Kay (The Curator), Rupert Laight (Solomon), Toby Walton (Thief), Nicky Goldie (Inquisitor Danby), James Lailey (Minister Pryce), Patricia Leventon (The Mother Superior)
Timeline: between The Trial Of A Time Lord and Time And The Rani
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: The second of three Doctor Who audio stories in a tightly-linked trilogy, Excelis Rising suffers just a little bit from “middle of the book” syndrome: there isn’t exactly a ton of action. And yet somehow, maybe because it’s shorter, it scoots along nicely and keeps a better pace than Excelis Dawns. Colin Baker and Anthony Stewart Head get some good verbal sparring in, despite the Buffy star having recorded his lines months ahead of time – again, the melding of the disparate source material is flawless. Excelis Rising can also only benefit from the fact that Head’s character has evolved into something more articulate and less brutish in this story, and better dialogue puts him to better use.
Intriguing stuff, in the kind of ghost-story millieu that suits Doctor Who better than the zombie sword-slinging of Excelis Dawns. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.