The Doctor and Lucie find themselves literally among the gods, as they land on a planet apparently ruled by Zeus, Hera and a host of other gods. But how did they get there? And given the fact that they clearly age, how do they maintain their immortality? When Zeus’ son Kalkin falls inlove with a young girl named Ararti, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter the landscape forever.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Ian McNeice (Zeus), Elspet Gray (Hera), Jennifer Higham (Sararti), Anthony Spargo (Kalkin), David Dobson (Tayden), Jake McGann (Ganymede)
Notes: Elspet Gray portrayed Chancellor Thalia in the original Doctor Who story Arc Of Infinity. Jake McGann is Paul McGann’s son. Ian McNiece would go on to play William Churchill in Doctor Who television episodes starring Matt Smith, and would return to audio in Big Finish’s fourth Doctor range in Renaissance Man.
Timeline: after Horror Of Glam Rock and before Phobos
LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey
Review: Immortal Beloved is another story that uses a tried-and-true plot device: the astronauts-use-technology-to-rule device. But it is on an emotional level that this one distinguishes itself. The “gods” that have set themselves up display much of the selfishness and capriciousness that marked the gods of myth themselves. But they are still firmly planted in the real world, with real world needs and desires. The Doctor and Lucie never really believe thay are gods, but it is interesting watching them work out what really is going on. It’s also worth pointing out that they actually have little to do with the eventual resolution, as the machinery of the “gods” is breaking down anyway, meaning a denoument was inevitable.
But the characters are all vividly portrayed, with Elspet Gray’s Hera and Ian McNeice’s Zeus particularly engaging as the aging gods unwilling to let go of life. The young lovers are a bit too overly lovestruck and melodramatic, but that plays into the nature of the story, since ancient myths were hardly known for their subtlety. The ending is a bit too pat for my tastes, but not enough to ruin an overall satisfying experience.