As many of you no doubt know Mark ‘Mak’ Kalita has been playing the role of the Doctor for many years now. Before the production moved to Broken Sea and started its monthly releases for a solid 2 years, Mark’s Doctor originally began his adventures in time and space over at Darker Projects Productions, the audio drama group that got me hooked into fan productions to begin with.
As I said Mark’s Doctor departed for Broken Sea making some wondering what would happen to the series at Darker Projects until one day out of the blue, Eric Busby uploaded a promo for what would become season 3 of Darker Projects Doctor Who. All everyone knew who wasn’t involved in the production was that David Ault, one of the most famous of all the online audio drama actors was going to play the Doctor. David was most well known for playing the lead character Bryon in ‘The Bryon Chronicles’ one of Darker Projects original productions and the show itself does have one or two links to the Doctor Who legacy.
On February 1st 2008 the first episode of the opening 3 part story line was released titled ‘The Long Road’ where we are introduced to Jason Tate a young man who has been having some very odd dreams involving aliens and a blue box. Eventually part 2 ‘The Lords Of Time’ and part 3 ‘The Legacy Of Gallifry’ followed to wrap up our introduction to the new ’12th’ Doctor as the 2nd episode indicates.
As I said we are first introduced to Jason Tate a young man plagued by bizarre and almost nightmarish dreams, he lives in a flat with his roommate Dominic, their cat ‘K9’ and has a girlfriend named Emma Collins who is pregnant but Jason doesn’t know this yet.
By part 2 we soon discover all the facts, Jason Tate isn’t a real person and in fact it turns out Dominic is in fact the head of the newly rebuilt Torchwood 1 base in London. Dominic informs Jason he is in fact the Doctor who once again using the chameleon arc from ‘Family Of Blood’ not only made himself human but also de-aged him to a small child with none of his time lord memories, much like the way the Master did in Utopia in season 3. We also discover why, apparently the Vampires Lords like those in State Of Decay wish to become the new lords of time but can only do this with the Doctor’s Tardis and his knowledge of time travel etc.
A lot of this is explained in Dominic’s explanation to Jason, the Doctor turned to Captain Jack for help which he did as Torchwood has been secretly manipulating Jason’s life from day one and in fact it turns out Raine the companion to Mak’s Doctor was working for Torchwood as well but was re-assigned when Jason had proposed to her. I love the idea Eric suggests here that Jack hired maybe a few of the Doctor’s old companions to help guide him as he was growing up as Jason, makes you wonder if who of them might have also played a part in his upbringing? Ace maybe? Sarah Jane perhaps? Who knows?
Did I mention this is set over Christmas Eve/Day and once again a giant alien spaceship invades London? No? My bad maybe I should have mentioned that earlier. Well to be fair not having aliens invade Christmas day wouldn’t feel right now would it?
Any who they invade and pretty much slaughter a good chunk of the new London based Torchwood staff, wow I’d hate to be the guy starting his first day there. Sorry little dark humour there.
You see Jason understands he’ll pretty much die if he becomes the Doctor again and despite Emma’s pleading he inserts the watch into the chameleon arc to begin the process.
The thought of all these people dying to protect him is just too much for him to bare especially as he realises if Torchwood can’t stop these vampires then who can? Who will?
So 10 minutes into part 3 David Ault finally makes his debut as the new Darker Projects Doctor! And despite all the blood and dead corpses he still manages to make a joke and pisses off the vampires, making them leave earth in pursuit of him because at the end of the day, he’s there key to universe domination.
With Emma with him the Doctor attempts to leave a trail to allow the Vampire Lords to follow him but before he can double back to drop off Emma, she informs him that she’s pregnant with Jason Tate’s baby. QUE CLIFFHANGER MUSIC!
Now onward with my review. You see I remember when Eric first released this and how some people had a lot of negative criticism about it. Now granted I’ll admit as a Doctor Who debut it’s a bit sluggish in fact the only way I enjoyed it was listening to all 3 parts back to back in one sitting. It surprisingly flows better. Also to me this doesn’t really feel like a Doctor Who story for the most part but more the story of Jason Tate, a normal bloke who’s thrown into this insane situation against his will and pretty much forced to kill himself to save the world. Despite Eric using much of the new series music to re-create that feel that your actually watching an episode of new TV Dr Who this still feels like Jason Tate’s story then instead being the 12th Doctor’s debut.
Don’t get me wrong this is terrible, far from it, it’s a good piece of sci-fi and you do want to listen to more of David’s Doctor largely due to the fact we’ve not experienced much of him yet. One of the criticisms I remember Eric getting was his choice for David as the Doctor, someone said he came off as camp compared to Mark’s Doctor but to me you can’t make that criticism as his Doctor is barely in it. Again I’m not saying that’s a terrible thing but when you look at this as Jason Tate’s story rather then the Doctor’s it kind of works somehow and I’d recommend a Dr Who fan listen to this to see for themselves.