Some post-nuclear world (I suppose): When Tanya (Heather Tracy) is
abducted by the Illusionist, her boyfriend, deaf-mute Dane (John
Wadmore) turns to the only man likely to help, he who appears,
otherwise known as the Stranger (Colin Baker). However, since
having bween left by his companion Ms Brown (Nicola Bryant), the Stranger
lives the life of a hermit and cares little about humankind - but then
something interests him about the boy's story ...
Meanwhile, Tanya is
brought to the crash site of a spaceship where she, like dozens other
abductees of the Illusionist, is to find certain components that might be
needed - and when she succeeds in finding the one vital component, she is
brought to the mansion next-door, where everyone seems to be having an
ever-lasting party, including Ms Brown, apparently, yet she suspects that
there's something going on behind the happy facade, and eventually she
persuades Tanya to make an escape from the premises with her ...
and the Stranger find the abode of the Controller (Michael Wisher),
who's apparently an alien stranded on the planet who uses the locals to
help him salvage spareparts from his landing pod to build a matter
transmitter to send him back to his ship orbiting the planet, and he uses
illusions to make everything work. Thing is of course, he has little
compassion for the local humankind and once he would be back on his ship
and leave, it would burn out his victims' brains. With Tanya's find, the
Controller has gathered the final component for his matter transmitter,
and now he forces the Stranger to build one for him and send him back to
his ship - yet something goes wrong, and instead of simply transmitting
the Controller, the machine destroys the ship and the Controller with it.
All the illusions disappear (and the humans under the influence with them,
I suppose, but that's not made clear), but Ms Brown and Tanya have made it
out just in time and are reunited with their partners.
of rather esoteric science fiction that really can't (and doesn't try to)
deny its Doctor
Who-influences - and compared to this show it has both its
virtues and its vices: compared to the TV-show, Colin Baker is given a way
more nuanced, way more interesting (and way less annoyingly dressed)
character, the basic plot is more interesting than almost anything that
was on Doctor
Who during the 1980's, and it has a certain rough and edgy
look that made up the show's best episodes but got lost the longer it ran.
On the negative side though, Summoned by Shadows is way too
short (at about 35 minutes) to give the plot a chance to fully develop,
the finale seems a bit rushed, and too many questions are left unanswered.
Yet it's still worth a look, though mainly for Doctor
Who-fans (yet probably not Doctor
Who-purists) who understand all the references.