Back in time again to release 18 from March 2001, The Stones of Venice by Paul Magrs, directed by Gary Russell.
Charley Pollard joined the Eighth Doctor because she wanted travel and adventure, so it seems appropriate for the Doctor to take her to Venice. However this is a future Venice that is on the point of sinking beneath the waves for ever. Meanwhile party-goers celebrate the last days, a religious cult search for their most precious icon, and a mournful Duke waits and hopes for his lost love to rise from the dead. Of course the Doctor and Charley are soon up to their necks and while the Doctor investigates some strange artwork is it possible that Charley may somehow be the actual reincarnation of the long dead Lady Estella?
Unfortunately after the high points of Sword of Orion this story is all over the place. Only the Doctor and Charley seem to be speaking sense, and in Charley's case that is only when she hasn't been drugged. The rest of the cast spout portentous nonsense with perfectly annunciated received pronunciation. It sounds like a bad village hall Shakespeare production. Not even the talents of Michael Sheard, Barnaby Edwards and Mark Gatiss can save it. There is a fair bit of running backwards and forwards and the good old capture - escape- recapture game that was so beloved of Doctor Who writers on television.
I just didn't care for it. It never captured my imagination and has to go down as a bit of a dud really. 2 out of 5 Venetian masks. What I need is either a really good ghost story, or some Daleks. Any suggestions?
Let us see how I get on with The Raincloud Man.