Inferno Audiobook Review

Doctor Who - InfernoKnown to many as “The one with the eye-patch”, Inferno is one of the adventures from Jon Pertwee’s era that is seen by some as long-winded but to others as a cracking adventure.

This unabridged edition of the Target novel helps to bring the story into a digestible format and frees it from the restraints of early television special effects.

Inferno is the name of a top-secret drilling project to penetrate the Earth’s crust and release a major new energy source. A crisis develops when an obnoxious green liquid leaks out as a drilling progresses – the green poison has a grotesquely effect on human beings. As the Earth’s plight worsens, the Doctor is trapped in a parallel world, unable to rescue the planet and its inhabitants from the destructive force unleashed by the Inferno project.

Caroline John lends herself well to this story; her delivery is dramatic and deeply delivered with thought and care. She does well handling the various dialects the story characters posses, her take on the Brigadier is quite wonderful and her upbeat and all-knowing Doctor is excellently thought through. I’ve always liked the character of Liz Shaw and would love for her to have one last meeting with the Doctor on screen.

It also helps that Terrence Dicks produced a cracking Target novel in the first place which lifts the story from its very dark TV roots and makes it slightly lighterstory. This tale of oppression and fascism was quite a serious story for the show but like much of Season 7 the show was becoming more mature in its storylines.

The score is over dramatic though, often threatening to overpower the dialogue and maybe, for future releases this can be toned down slightly. The effects on the other-hand do their job well and add tension to the already tight story. The concise but informative sleeve notes written by David J Howe (have you bought his rather excellent The Target Book yet?), enlighten the listener.

A great release which reminds us just how great the early Pertwee adventures were.

Released on April 7th, you can purchase the Inferno audiobook read by Caroline John for £13.25, or order from Amazon for just £7.77!


James has been a Doctor Who fan for as long as he can recall. A child of the 70s and 80s, he weathered all the storms and controversies the show encountered, though he didn’t buy the “Doctor In Distress” single.

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