The Valley of Death is the second and last story in The Fourth Doctor Boxset of Lost Stories which also feature Leela released by Big Finish Productions.
The origins of The Valley of Death dated back to Philip Hinchcliffe’s time as Doctor Who producer back in the 1970s when he came up with the idea to set up a story in the Amazon and mentioned this idea to a few writers including Robert Holmes as BBC policy at the time would have prevented Hinchcliffe as producer from writing his own story idea. (Incidentally Hinchiffe’s successor Graham Williams would get around BBC policy to co-write The Invasion of Time & City of Death by using the David Agnew pseudonym).
However Holmes and the other writers were not too keen on the idea as they did not understand it and was quietly forgotten about until it was resurrected by Big Finish and adapted by Jonathan Morris.
The Valley of Death is a Lost World-type story with the Doctor and Leela joining in the expedition of Edward Perkins to find out what became of Perkins’ famed ancestor Cornelius Perkins.
Also in the expedition was photojournalist Valerie Carlton played by Jane Slavin and Valerie Carlton sure makes a pretty good companion-like character.
Valerie sure showed his eagerness in being a photojournalist but on reflection it was not something that she had long destiny for.
The Valley of Death takes place in two settings, in the Amazons and in England and quite good how the villain Godrin transfer his menace from the former to the latter settings.
Godrin had a very wonderful menacing performance from Nigel Carrington.
UNIT is involved in the English setting with the Brigadier getting a mention. No doubt Hincliffe did have a view in the possibility of getting the late Nicholas Courtney to play the Brigadier here if this story had been made for television in the 1970s.
The Valley of Death featured android doppelgangers and if this story had been made for television in the 1970s this would have been relatively too soon after the earlier Hinchcliffe produced story The Android Invasion which had used the same plot device.
The Valley of Death was a very good romp of a story by a good combination of the Amazon and English parts of the story.
Interesting parts of the accompanying interviews include mentioning that David Killick (Cornelius Perkins) had appeared in UFO and was killed off in an early scene and that he last much longer as Cornelius Perkins, and Jane Slavin saying she had been a friend of the late Mary Tamm (Romana).
Therefore it was felt for Jane Slavin not to be friends with Louise Jameson which I think she meant that jokingly!