DÆMOS RISING

PrintE-mail Written by Tony Jones

Billed as a sequel (of sorts) to the Doctor Who story The Daemons, this is actually a 2004 video made by Reeltime Productions and is far more a follow-on to events in another of their releases, Downtime. It is linked back into the world of Doctor Who, and this is more obstacle than blessing.

The central figure is Kate Lethbridge Stewart (Cressman), daughter of the Brigadier, and visiting ex-UNIT operative Douglas Cavendish (Ricahrdson). The backstory is Cavendish was broken by events in Downtime (not needed to make sense of this), steals an artefact from the UNIT vaults and acts as a catalyst for events beyond his control. As Kate tries to help the alcoholic and desperate Cavendish, a ghostly figure (Wisher) appears and offers his help. Writer David J Howe’s story is bogged down by continuity and takes a long time to get up to full speed. The later part is entertaining enough, but the first half suffers from lack of pace and far too much exposition.

As a film it leaves a lot to be desired. The slow paced beginning is exacerbated by over-long camera shots of Kate Stewart walking around, and trying to avoid going in circles. She meets Cavendish and fails to express any emotion beyond that of slightly distasteful sufferance. This is a shame as Cressman can clearly do more, as is seen by some of her darker moments later in the story. Richardson and Wisher are also very one-dimensional, a flaw that extends over much of this tale. Director Keith Barnfather has to take the blame for this, despite his good intentions.

There are positives. Given its budget it is shot well enough, makes some use of lighting and has decent special effects. When the Dæmon arrives, it is a convincing 3D render, voiced by Alistair Lock, who also did the sound and music. This release also includes a 16:9 cut, and plenty of behind the scenes features.

If you are a fan of Downtime, this is a release you may wish to add to your collection. As a nostalgic look at how Doctor Who could have evolved before its return it is interesting enough. For others, it might be one to skip.

DÆMOS RISING / DIRECTOR AND SCREENPLAY: KEITH BARNFATHER / STARRING:BEVERLY CRESSMAN, MILES RICHARDSON, ANDREW WISHER, AMANDA EVANS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 

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