Ridiculed, shunned and often just left on the shelf, The Twin Dilemma wasn’t exactly the rip-roaring adventure that we wanted it to be. Considering that it was the first story for the Sixth Doctor and the final one of Season 21 it didn’t exactly leave you begging for more. This audiobook, read by Colin Baker is an unabridged reading of the classic Target novel first published in 1986.
The Doctor has regenerated, having sacrificed his fifth persona to save Peri’s life. But things are not going well… On this occasion the process of the regeneration is by no means smooth, for the even-tempered, good-humoured Fifth Doctor has given way to a rather disturbed and unsettled character. In a particularly irascible moment the new Doctor comes dangerously close to committing a shocking crime. Overwhelmed with guilt for his violent behaviour, the repentant Time Lord decides to become a hermit.
The television version of the story was a plodding and rather dull piece with blame being placed largely on the acting prowess of the title characters. But away from the visual element the story takes on a better dimension with more humour and drama. Colin Baker is able to get the brattishness and sinister ways of the twins across very well. This is a very dark story with themes such as death, jealousy and hate constantly rearing their heads.
The Doctor himself doesn’t appear until Chapter 2 and it’s here that the true impact of Baker’s interpretation comes to life, far better than the television version seen in this story. This is no disrespect to Baker’s on screen piece, but it lacked direction. Here, his regeneration is given the darkness it craved.
Baker injects enthusiasm and real drama into his reading. His accents for characters work well and are well placed whilst his breathless delivery keeps the listener intrigued and, at times, captivated. His words are given extra drama by an enthusiastic score and effects from Simon Power.
As usual the release comes with smart linear notes, this time we learn about Eric Saward who wrote the original novelisation based on a script from Anthony Steven and a biog of Colin Baker. Best (as usual) is the segment on the book itself taken from David J Howe’s sumptuous The Target Book which gives us a brief but interesting history of the Target release of the story.
A nice audiobook that’s designed to orally re-write Doctor Who history and makes The Twin Dilemma far better than it originally was.
Released on January 5th with an RRP of £13.25, this unabridged version of The Twin Dilemma is currently available on Amazon for just £7.68!