Ah, Stockbridge! We’ve been here…before…hmmm. Something’s wrong here. Very wrong.
Plague of the Daleks, by Mark Morris
For the third play in the Stockbridge trilogy, we head into the future. Where tourists come from all over the galaxy to visit this environment-domed recreation of a quaint English village. Where Westworld meets the west Wolds (Ha! See what I did there?). Where you really, really don’t want to go down into the church crypt…
This play reinforces my belief that Eternal Summer was the best of the three. No offence to the writer, or to the guest stars here (Keith Barron & Lisa Tarbuck, no less), but while the idea of a time-capsule Stockbridge works well, the Daleks themselves seem more than a little out of place. They really don’t suit the idea of Stockbridge – and they certainly don’t suit skulking about beneath the village church. In some ways they almost feel incidental to the fact that the Doctor and Nyssa are here at all.
At least Nyssa has a lot more to do than just follow the Doctor around in this play – they’re split up very early on, making this – as one of the accompanying interviews notes – a pair of two-handers more than one single play. Lisa Tarbuck is the pick of the guests, played well against Nyssa’s more cautious approach, and it’s a shame her character ends up the way she does.