Doctor Who - Loups Garoux - Review

The first time I listened to Loups-Garoux, I despised it, it bored me senseless. But the thing to remember with this story is that it is the werewolf edition - much like the Missing Adventures novel, Goth Opera - is the show's proper vampire edition. And this play certainly does have the feel of a New Adventures/Missing Adventures novel.

The Fifth Doctor and Turlough arrive in Rio 2080, just in time to see the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and so that Turlough can see a more earthly side to human beings than he saw at Brendon School. There are some amusing moments scattered throughout, an exotic dancer hits on the Doctor and Turlough doesn't help by egging them on. But the humour doesn't last long as the pair soon have a bigger, hairier problem to deal with. A problem that has big hair and big teeth and some ridiculous sounding howls. Of course, the Doctor then has to play the knight in shining armour to protect the people the wolf is after, in particular, the mysterious wealthy heiress - Ileana de Santos. The pair quickly take a shine to each other, in ways both cute and awkward while Turlough starts to run from his own shadows. He soon falls in with one of the Amazonian natives - a girl called Rosa - who has a score to settle with the deadly, El Lobo.

What is instantly apparent about this release is how good the guest actors are in their roles. But the accents are laid on heavily and so some of the names get horrendously mispronounced. Ileana de Santos is a particularly interesting character and the effect she has on the Doctor reminded me of how he acting during his swansong - The Caves of Androzani. Mark Strickson also appears to have a lot of fun in this one, playing the skittish, unreliable but kind-hearted Turlough, it does make me wish there were more than just a handful of Fifth/Turlough audios out there.

As I stated above, I didn't like Loups-Garoux when I first heard it. It felt like it played as a werewolf RPG - one of those from decades ago. But I found when I listened to it again, with my irritations put aside it was actually an enjoyable and atmospheric story that has some keen dialogue and an almost cinematic style in its story telling. Futuristic Rio, the high speed train and the Amazonian wastelands made for some vivid imagery, with the music adding its own flavour to the pot.

This is a story where I'm not sure where I stand. It is obviously quite a bit different to the usual Fifth Doctor fare, which certainly is a rare thing. And it comes from the pen of the man who has brought us some truly brilliant Doctor Who tales. So I guess if you can put up with the heavy werewolf mythos and its romantic elements that are more subtle and restrained than there are in the new series, then I'm sure you will enjoy it...