01/11/2008. Contributed by Sue Davies
CD. pub: Big Finish ISBN: 978-1-84435-311-8. 60 minute CD. Price: £10.99 (UK). Non UK £11.50) cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Samuel West, Kenneth Colley, Alexander Siddig, Nickolas Grace, Barry McCarthy, Nicola Weeks and Katarina Olsson
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
This is the closing episode, set up by 'Sisters Of The Flame'.
With Morbius very much alive, the Doctor and Lucie cross their own time line to try to save the universe but something goes horribly wrong. Is there really nothing they can do?
Without giving too much of the plot away this is the exciting conclusion to the Eighth Doctor's season. It marks an end to the 'grim-up-north' partnership of the delightfully acerbic Lucie and long-suffering Doctor. It also manages to create another conundrum at the end which could set-up a completely new set of complications.
Samuel West produces an excellent portrait of the madman that is Morbius, the Time Lord bent on universe-domination. Lucie continues to talk for England and eventually it's her conversations that lead to potential solutions. Ya-boo to all you men that don't listen...there's a lot to say about this particular motormouth. Lucie is a dominant influence in the whole of this episode. It worked for the TV Doctor to have a motormouth (Donna) so why not here. Actually, I think Lucie came before Donna. It seems that human and non-human relationships are crucial to the survival of all life, so no pressure then.
It's deep for a SF story but Dr Who has always been able to tackle these life or death scenarios. If there are any acting awards for audio and there should be, Sheridan Smith gives a completely believable and impressive performance. Everyone else chews the scenery but, regrettably, there is little to hear from the delightful Alexander Siddig who featured quite a lot in the first part.
The extra interviews are strictly for after the play, as there are major spoilers in there. I know these additions are not to everyone's taste and I'm normally not a great listener to extras but these little sound bites offer some interesting insights into the production process and some gossip, too. Sam West recalls being a member of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society as a teenager!
Overall, a good stab at a cliff-hanger in this finale. There is a little bit of too-ing and fro-ing at the start but the interaction between the Doctor and Lucie is the strong point once again. As for the ending, hmm...let's see what happens next year. Hopefully, we will hear more of Lucie.
The set of episodes in this season, most of which I have heard now, have proved to be excellent with lots of well thought-out scenarios picking up on history, alien planets and even comedy. The Eighth Doctor has proved to have a somewhat extended life than originally foreseen.
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