Valhalla

Doctor Who: ValhallaThe Doctor arrives in the city of Valhalla, on Callisto, one of Jupiter’s major moons, in the widely-human-colonized future. But despite the marvels of technology that Valhalla represents, something is amiss: the Doctor and the city’s administrator alone know that an alien invasion is imminent. As the city descends into panic and chaos, the Doctor enlists reluctant help from a few of the locals, but even his modest attempts to slow down the invasion draw the attention of the queen of the termite-like hoardes. They’ve arrived from another world, apparently having done a deal to buy Valhalla and its entire population – as livestock. But if the Doctor has anything to say about it, the deal is off.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Michelle Gomez (Jevvan), Phillip Jackson (Laxton), Susannah York (Our Mother / Registry / Tannoy), Fraser James (Gerium), Donna Berlin (Tin-Marie), Duncan Wisbey (Clerk / Sergeant / Pilot / New Tannoy), Dominic Frisby (Groom / Drome Guard / Resolute Pilot / Worker 1 / Marketeer), Jack Galagher (Worker 2)

Timeline: between Master and Frozen Time

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Though it starts out as a very typical late seventh Doctor story – the Doctor is already on the scene, insinuating himself into events already in progress – Valhalla becomes an even more typically generic Doctor Who story along the way. Much of the middle of the story seems to concern itself with avoiding the invaders, talking about the invaders, and wondering who in the world the Doctor is.

Things don’t really get interesting again until part four…but by then, my brain’s switched over to autopilot. Susannah York is an interesting casting choice as the termite-creatures’ queen, but it’s hardly a role demanding an actress of that stature. (To give her credit for being a real trouper, Ms. York seems to be enjoying her new role as a giant termite in the CD extras.) The rest of the cast is good in their various respective “oh-my-God-what’s-going-on” roles.

There’s nothing especially wrong with Valhalla – it’s a perfectly serviceable, but surprisingly average, adventure. I guess I’m used to the seventh Doctor’s adventures being a little bit more cutting-edge.