The Paradise of Death is a 5-part BBC radio drama, based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 5 from 27 August to 24 September 1993. It was subsequently repeated, between 12 April and 10 May 1994, by BBC Radio 2.
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT asks the Doctor to investigate a particularly gruesome murder at a new theme park on London’s Hampstead Heath, called Space World. Together with journalist Sarah Jane Smith and her photographer Jeremy Fitzoliver, they take in the incongruous exhibits, including virtual reality machines, and even seemingly living alien monstrosities – which the Brigadier immediately suspects of the killing.
The owners of the theme park are a gang of alien carpetbaggers from outer space, who are ostensibly trying to persuade the Government to begin talks on allowing interplanetary trade. Although their real motives are unclear, they have a sophisticated form of mind-control which they employ to kill anyone who threatens their plans.
When Sarah is kidnapped by the sinister Mr Tragan, and transported to the aliens’ home planet, Parakon, the Doctor and the Brigadier must race to her rescue in the Tardis. On Parakon, they learn the truth about the proposed trade deal, which will mean the destruction of all life on Earth. The rapine plant is a parasite which will turn the planet into a wasteland.
Freeth and Tragan are secretly conspiring to overthrow the President and democratic government on Parakon, and fear what the visitors from Earth may accidentally disclose which might reveal their plans to Captain Rudley, the commander of the Presidential Guard. The Doctor hopes to persuade the President that rapine will harm the Earth, but Freeth and Grebber hope to have the Doctor executed before he can do so.
The Paradise of Death was novelised by Barry Letts for WH Allen’s Target Books imprint, and published in 1994 (ISBN 0-426-20413-1); it was the 156th and final novelisation to be published by Target, ending a series of books which began in 1964 (and had been published under the Target label since 1973). [Wikipedia]
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