When C’rizz expresses a desire to see an unspoiled planet in its primacy, the Doctor brings the TARDIS to the twin worlds of Caludaar and Endarra. After nearly destroying themselves in a war, the people of Caludaar pledged to leave Endarra untouched – but the TARDIS detects a distinct energy reading from Endarra. The Doctor discovers that a small party from Caludaar has broken the promise, and worse yet, they’re experimenting on the native life forms of Endarra. The Doctor and his friends try to set things right, but quickly find that those performing the experiments will do anything to continue them. What the Doctor hasn’t taken into account is that Endarra itself may step in and correct the balance of good and evil.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), India Fisher (Charley Pollard), Conrad Westmaas (C’rizz), Michael Chance (Flood), Arthur Bostrom (Arken), Spencer McLaren (Bronik), Rosalind Blessed (Niah), Ellis Pike (Eldrin), Linda Bartram (Galayana)
Timeline: after Terror Firma and before Other Lives
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: An odd bird in many ways, Scaredy Cat succeeds dramatically mainly due to the absolute conviction of its cast, and yet on a conceptual level it left me a little nonplussed. At one point we get a hint that the story is examining the nature and the origins of evil, and then a short while later that ball is dropped in favor of the concept that “elemental forces” will arrive on the scene to clear things up. I know this is science fiction, but c’mon. Actually, that’s not fair – I could stomach a story about a planet having an elemental force that sets things right, but here neither the explanation of that phenomenon nor its dramatic payoff really satisfied me.
Again in this story, C’rizz seems to be struggling with his personal demons and his past, but in this case that seems to happen just to up the dramatic stakes a bit – there’s no real payoff (again), we’re assured that C’rizz is one of the good guys and controls his own destiny (again), and nothing more seems to come of it. It’s not really a criticism of this story in particular, or of its writer, but after all the talk of how the eighth Doctor’s unexplored adventures provide limitless material for new stories, it’s odd how the eighth Doctor’s recent audio outings seem to be maintaining the status quo even more than those stories which star previous incarnations of the Doctor and have to be squeezed into rigidly defined “holes” in the continuity.