The Colin Baker Doctor goes all John LeCarre on us.
“Soldier boys. They make me nervous most of all – fellas willing to give up control of their lives to someone with more stripes on their arm. Makes no sort of sense to me.”
The Doctor works the cipher cracking, uncovers some saboteurs (who perhaps actually aren’t) and makes contact with a deep cover agent in Hitler’s army during World War II. Nobody is who they appear to be. And no one can be trusted…
But are the Nazis the only menace be dealt with here? Or have all these electromagnetic cipher cracking operations drawn the attention of something arguably even worse?
“I shan’t hold up your war for long, Major Harris.”
Miranda Raison’s Constance Clarke offers another turn after her debut in last month’s Sixth Doctor – the Last Adventure, Poirot’s Captain Hastings himself, Hugh Fraser is on hand as one of our dual agents and Paul Thornley delivers a fairly crusty ex con cum saboteur and triple agent.
With a bit of (teleseries) Mission Impossible rubbing shoulders with touches of more modern sci-fi in the Waveform, there are arguable parallels to The Curse of Fenric (which also dealt with British cipher cracking during the war), though Criss-Cross feels far more sedate than that, and perhaps less consequential in terms of relative menace.
It’s all fairly recognizable and should appeal quite admirably to fans of this sort of WWII/Cold War style espionage yarn. If the early Sylvester McCoy/Ace/Klein adventure Colditz is to your liking, Criss-Cross should satisfy your wartime intrigue jones sufficiently.