The “Excelis Saga” continues with this Sixth Doctor release, set 1,000 years after the first one. While “Dawns” was pure comedy “Rising” is more of a murder mystery with a slight comedic edge. More importantly, is a good story in general? Let’s find out!
A thousand years after his first visit to the planet Artaris, the Doctor returns. The city of Excelis has grown, spreading a vast Empire throughout the globe. Science and engineering have provided a new Age of Reason.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, and once again death follows the mysterious Relic through the halls of the Imperial Museum.
When the Doctor finds himself helping the Curator and the local authorities with this mystery, he finds himself crossing paths with a familiar face from Excelis’ history —- but no-one lives for a thousand years, do they?
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
The Doctor arrives in what he thought was the British museum but turns out to be the equivalent building in Excelis, and to top it off the alarm starts blaring as a pair of robbers are trapped in the most well-guarded part of the building. Well, one is, the other is crushed by the doors… The Doctor is of course soon surrounded by a group of people, most of whom think he must be guilty. The friendly museum Curator (Charles Kay), the local lawwoman Inquisitor Danby (Nicky Goldie), a Minister named Pryce (James Lailey) and the mysterious Reeve Maupassant (Anthony Head). The Doctor doesn’t hang about the almost immediately pegs Reeve for the former Warlord Greyvorn, and tries to convince the Curator of the fact, all the while people around them start dying.
The Minister holds a séance to commune with the recently deceased, and much to The Doctor’s amazement it actually works, more than likely thanks to the effect of The Relic, the mysterious handbag that apparently contains the afterlife of those who live on the planet. Maupassant reveals to The Doctor that he’s still tormented by the voice of Mother Superior and that he never sleeps but still has nightmares while awake, causing him to have to hide and cower as he’s haunted by uncontrolled visions roughly every three days. There’s an unpleasant side effect to the whole immortality thing! Anyway, as more people end up dead The Doctor and the former Greyvorn confront each other alongside Inquisitor Danby, with Reeve wishing to rid himself of Mother Superior using the Relic but instead gets his “soul” separated from his body and trapped in the museum’s walls.
The Doctor leaves happy that Greyvorn has been stopped for good, but we instead hear that the former Warlord is planning to wait for the right moment to possess someone and continue his schemes…
Just the one cover this time. The funny drawing from “Dawns” was a one off I’m afraid!
Not much to say really. It was a fun listen but it’s also not an amazing or memorable story. The performances were fine and the story chugged along well enough, so I don’t really know why I won’t be giving this release top marks. It follows on from Excelis Dawns well enough, creating a fun flow, though maybe the city could parallel London a little less for the sake of making the alien world feel more… well, alien.
Obviously this is a sequel to “Excelis Dawns” and “Excelis Decays” comes after it. Beyond that though it doesn’t really connect to anything. The Doctor mentions having had issues getting too involved in others’ lives recently, which was most likely meant to put this some time shortly after his trail in “The Trial of a Time Lord”.
I enjoyed my time with “Excelis Rising”, it was the Doctor Who audio drama equivalent of a nice comforting cup of coffee, not something you’d rave about but something that was just… nice… not that I actually drink coffee mind you, but I thought that would be a relatable image… Anyway! Another 4 out of 5 for Excelis!