Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Matt Addis, Luis Salo, Sean Connolly, Tam Williams, Gemma Wardle, Ian Brooker.
It can be a source of bemusement to those seek the literary inside the Doctor Who universe that the soul of Kit Marlowe has not made an appearance, let alone an impression on the world; for a man to whom English literature would be sorely poorer without having picked up a pen and to whom the world of early espionage and skulduggery would be infinitely more boring to read about, Christopher Marlowe remains intriguingly still persona non grata, not only in the world we inhabit but in the fictional tales that could be wrought.
It is almost as if the Faustian pact he wrote of was one that only the dedicated lovers of this Elizabethan hero can discuss at length and remind audiences of its power, as well as its insidious beauty, every so often on the stage.
Yet much remains unknown of this great man and it is surely only right that the writers of Doctor Who at some point touched upon his brilliance and his genius, somehow though only the story originally written for Colin Baker’s incarnation of The Doctor and never made during the Corporation’s period of distance with the programme comes close and in Barbara Clegg’s and Marc Platt’s lost story, Point Of Entry, at least one of Britain’s first superstar dramatists gets to be in a plot of Faustian proportions.
It is a shame that the B.B.C. in its infinite wisdom refused to have the foresight to make another series with Mr. Baker at the helm, like Peter Capaldi whose version of the Doctor took time to bed in, rough spots and brusque behaviour and a tendency to be mean and childish, was arguably on the verge of showing the point of character development when an regeneration is so intense and emotionally bruising, on the verge of being considered a truly great Doctor to which Big Finish thankfully has proved time and time again.
In this particular two hours of audio drama, Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant undertake a bruising, well presented adventure, one in which the spectre of the fear, suspicion and distrust that was an undercurrent hardly discussed when talking of the great Elizabethan Age, comes readily to the listener and offers a certain perspective of a troubled yet glorified age.
Kit Marlowe, a name to whom history owes a great deal but to whom seems forever to walk in the shadow of other men, some his equal, one arguably his better, but to whom others should weep to be thought more highly of. At least in Point Of Entry his name reaches beyond the salacious and ill thought and is proved once again to just as mysterious as he could have wished to be.
Ian D. Hall