Synopsis: In New Recruit. UNIT is the secret organization established to deal with the odd and unexplained on Earth and beyond.
The redoubtable Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart leads the troops. For scientific guidance, he relies on two brilliant advisors. One is Cambridge genius Dr Elizabeth Shaw. The other is UNIT’s newest recruit.
That mysterious traveller in time and space known as River Song makes herself indispensable. But, what is she hiding?
Review: The Diary of River Song, Series 09: New Recruit is an unabashed love letter to the Pertwee era. Indeed, the strength of the story telling lies in removing the Third Doctor until the final installment. As a result, Liz Shaw and the Brigadier are allowed to quintessentially shine.
The four stories are character driven with just enough plot to get on with. That’s a really good thing.
“The Blood Woods” by Lizbeth Myles riffs on the dynamic between the Third Doctor and Jo Grant. The Doctor is gone. River has been assigned as Liz’s assistant. Understandably, Liz chafes at not being consulted. What follows is gold.
“Terror of the Suburbs” by James Kettle is exactly what it says on the tin. Then, the lion makes his entrance. The banter between River and Liz is perfect throughout.
“Never Alone” by Helen Goldwyn is a heartfelt variation on one of the oldest Doctor Who tropes. River and Liz befriend a different kind of recruit. In the process, they confront an expansive definition of turnover.
“Rivers of Light” by Lisa McMullin is where Bessie’s rubber hits the road. The Doctor returns, and listeners get answers. Those answers are both incredibly lyrical and surprisingly straightforward.
Alex Kingston continues to bring her A game. For his part, Tim Treloar plays off her sublimely. That said, the set belongs to Daisy Ashford and Jon Culshaw. Their versions of Liz and the Brig remain vital and near flawless throughout.
All I can say is more, please!
You can purchase The Diary of River Song, Series 09: New Recruit here.
- Audio Production10