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Doctor Who: Hothouse by Jonathan Morris

01/06/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who Hothouse in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who Hothouse in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 60 minute CD with extras. Price: CD: 10.99; Download: 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-394-1). cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Nigel Planer, Lysette Anthony, Adna Sablyich, Stuart Crossman and Barnaby Edwards.

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The eighth Doctor has come back to Earth. A conscript to past obligations, he and Hazel Bright are representing the 'World Ecology Bureau' and must look into a new threat that soon sounds awfully familiar.

His erstwhile companion, Lucie Miller, has become a fanatical conscript to the movement led by ex-rocker Alex Marlow. He's using his millions to save the planet but not fussy about saving the human race. She's happy to support him and kill anyone who gets in the way.

Enter the Doctor to the mysterious hothouses where Marlow is growing another of the Doctor's old enemies. But the Krynoid is not a biddable vegetable and it looks like the Miracle-Gro fertiliser is working rather too well.

Although there is a lot of running and shouting in this episode, there is some time for reflection on the relationship between the Doctor and Lucie. The experience on Orbis has changed him, spending a long time there without human contact. It's hard for him to get back in the swing of the mutual balance of their friendship.

It's good to hear Nigel Planer updating his CV with an apparently laid-back rock star who has scary green fingers. These audios are always boosted by the quality of the guest players. It's like an endless stream of repertory plays where the lead remains constant with a stream of supporting actors filling in the gaps. I am not a fan of the returning man-eating plants but I find the enemies incidental when I can concentrate on the characters. Even the plot is second to the continuous twisting of the knife in the tortuous relationship.

This episode comes after 'Orbis' and before 'The Beast Of Orlok' and is available in CD and download.

Sue Davies

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This book has 73 votes in the sci-fi charts

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