If asked who my favorite Doctor Who writer was, I would not have to hesitate much to say Steve Lyons. Sure, he has never written a story for the show; his work is entirely in audios and novels, but up until “Colditz,” I had never given a single thing he has written anything less than four out of five stars, or in the case of this blog, a B. Unfortunately, that streak comes to an end with this audio, which is still slightly above average.
The Doctor fighting the Nazis is something that happens A LOT in Doctor Who. Even the novel Illegal Alien that I reviewed recently featured the same cast fighting Nazis in the same war. This same wonderful TARDIS team also tackled the Nazis in Timewyrm: Exodus by Uncle Terry, in a very strong novel. and there are likely at least a dozen others that aren’t immediately coming to mind. Unfortunately, this one isn’t as good as either Timewyrm: Exodus or Illegal Alien.
“Colditz” is essentially the story of the Doctor and Ace showing up in World War II, and the Nazis see that they have a time machine and want it, so they capture the Doctor and Ace so that they can use the TARDIS to turn the tide of the war in its waning days. There is more to it than that, but the meat of the story is that. It’s not a bad plot, but having previously been floored with enthusiasm over my previous readings and listening of Lyons, I have come to expect something more awe-inspiring.
There are some good performances. As always, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are brilliant with perfect chemistry, and it is also pretty cool to hear David Tennant perform in a Doctor Who role several years before he would become a very solid Tenth Doctor. Beyond the above average performances, though, I think this was really just an average story. Hardly as good as everyone else seems to think, but certainly enjoyable. I still love Steve Lyons.