The Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe crash into a seemingly deserted spaceship. But what horrors will they find on The Wreck of the World?
The last story in last year’s run of Doctor Who: The Early Adventures, The Wreck of the World is an interesting debut from Timothy X Atack. Firstly, the story features a lot of elements from great Second Doctor serials. Particularly ones that feature a base under siege from monsters. Which in fact were common to most stories of the Troughton era.
But it also features elements from later eras, too. In the earliest episodes of The Wreck of the World, it’s very reminiscent of The Ark in Space. Not in a way that the story comes across as simply copying the much loved classic, however. Instead, it has a voice of its own that’s very fresh and new. But having that similar feel to Ark is very welcome.
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Horror and drama
One clear way that The Wreck of the World stands out is how openly horrific it is. This isn’t something you entirely expect at the start, although it certainly builds in tension. However, when the second half of the story kicks in, things get a lot nastier. But it doesn’t feel like it crosses the line in terms of its violence. After all, capturing that family friendly feel of the period helps to make the story fit just a little bit more. But it does come close, at times. Horror fans will definitely love this one.
Beyond the atmosphere and the mixture of science-fiction and horror, one final reason the story stands out is Zoe. Specifically, its focus on the young computer genius. It’s great to hear a story that explores Zoe and her emotional development in a truly significant way. In particular, there’s a really great scene towards the end that Wendy Padbury performs beautifully.
The Wreck of the World is a really strong debut from Timothy X Atack. For one thing, it perfectly fits the original era it’s written for. But there’s also a great deal of freshness that’s added, too. A fantastic mix of science-fiction, horror and character based drama, it’s definitely a promising start for this new Big Finish writer.
Have you listened to The Wreck of the World? Do you think it captures the era perfectly? Or are you simply curious to try the Second Doctor’s stories, and want to know where to begin? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.