Audio Review: Project Twilight
I’ve mentioned before in the Doctor Who podcast I co-host, The Raggedy Podcast, that Joss Whedon really has a lot to answer for. Since the introduction of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show in 1997, vampires seem to be consistently “in.” Every fantasy and science fiction story delves into the idea of vampires at one time or another, and with crap like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries releasing their various plagues on the entertainment world, it seems like the genre-spanning trope is here to stay.
Doctor Who has ventured into vampire territory several times, including on television (Fourth Doctor story “State of Decay,” new Series Five’s “The Vampires of Venice”), novels (Virgin New Adventures Blood Harvest, Paul Cornell’s Missing Adventure Goth Opera, Eighth Doctor Adventures Vampire Science and The Eight Doctors), and as of “Project: Twilight,” the audios as well. These various stories have been met varying receptions, but I think generally Doctor Who has managed to handle vampires pretty well.
The Doctor and Evelyn Smythe (a far superior companion to either of Colin Baker’s television sidekicks) find themselves in southeast London, on the bank of the river Thames, looking for a good Chinese takeout place. Some kind of inhuman stalker is killing a bunch of locals in the nearby streets, and the Doctor realizes something strange is going on when the bodies appear to be not only mutilated, but eaten.
“Project: Twilight” is a really brilliantly paced story; the way the first part is written, I was very quickly engaged in how the story was rolling. I knew right away that vampires were involved, and it took the Doctor and friends the first half of the story to figure it out, but I really enjoyed the ride, despite getting a little irritated that it took the Doctor so long to figure it out.
I think some of the performances in this story are particularly strong, even from the supporting cast. The bad guys are clearly bad guys from square one, but I don’t think Doctor Who has ever been really known for ambiguity in its villainy. Maggie Stables is awesome as Evelyn Smythe; it really makes me wish Colin Baker had been allowed to actually have a decent companion on screen. This isn’t an awe-inspiring story, but I really enjoyed it anyway.