The Apocalypse Mirror doesn’t have any ‘high selling points’ to attract attention to its release. There’s no return of an unused companion, no reveal of a long defeated enemy and no surprise appearance of a celebrity guest star. But The Apocalypse Mirror doesn’t need these elements to bring it success; all it needs to say on the front cover is the sentence ‘Performed by Fraser Hines and Wendy Padbury.
It’s no secret that these two together help to fully recreate the Troughton era in a way that could not be though possible, Padbury’s infectious performance as Zoe remains as young and as electric as ever, the woman’s lost none of her guile since her last regular television appearance in Doctor Who over forty years ago. Hines not only keeps the Highland spirit of Jamie still burning brightly, as he’s one of those actors that has a voice that defies age, but also consistently delivers a spot on impersonation, or perhaps tribute is a better word, of Patrick Troughton portraying the Second Doctor. Hines’s performance in The Apocalypse Mirror is certainly one of his best Troughton efforts to date, the first few minutes of the adventure especially encapsulating not only a pitch perfect rendition of Troughton but also a wonderful tribute to the Second Doctor’s era as well.
Where the performances are exceptional, the story for The Apocalypse Mirror is perhaps something that leaves a little more to be desired. Landing in the city of Tromesis on Earth, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find devastated buildings and deserted streets as they take in their surroundings. They also see ghostly images of the city as it once was, a city before the unnamed disaster struck.
What follows is a story that tries to be ever so slightly wibbly wobbly with its time line but just falls short of the mark in its flow. That’s not to say that The Apocalypse Mirror is a bad story, more one that wishes to be larger but feels slightly condensed in its two episode format, perhaps if this had been a longer tale, given time to breathe and mature, it might have made a grander point. The mysteries that are to be unravelled are revealed all too quickly, losing some of the dramatic delivery that writer Eddie Robson is so good at doing. If, as mentioned, this had been a longer story with more time in the first episode for the Doctor and his friends to explore the ruined city and feed the mystery, the tension would have been delicious.
This adventure contains wonderful energetic performances from the leads, excellent musical cues and a great mystery that becomes solved a little too quickly.
The Apocalypse Mirror is available from www.bigfinish.com now.