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Doctor Who: Orbis (Parts 1 and 2) by Alan Barnes and Nicholas Briggs

01/04/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

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

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pub: Big Finish. 60 minutes CD. Price: CD: 10.99 (UK), download: 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-393-4. Cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Sachs, Laura Solon, Katarina Olsson, Beth Chalmers and Barry McCarthy.

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This new series of the adventures of the Eighth Doctor Who on audio has come up with the revolutionary idea of releasing each episode every Saturday night from March until June. Ideal for those of us who don't get out much. That would be me then. Downloaders eagerly awaited the first one and such was the demand there was a slight hiccup in supply. This is a great idea, getting your 'Doctor Who' fix on a Saturday, so very traditional.

With the shocking cliff-hanger of the last series, we thought it was all over for Lucy. The Doctor is dead along with the empire-building Morbius. She's gone home to Blackpool to mourn this extraordinary person. But one day she opens the door to someone she recognises, the Headhunter, who shoots her with peculiar time bullets. Now the race is on to find the Doctor before the time bullets can take effect. It looks like Lucy is going to be a hostage to misfortune all over again.

It's all about time and if you remember that time is relative then you will not be amazed at what occurs next. It's not giving too much away to say that the Doctor will re-appear and the series will continue. However, he's not himself and it is down to Lucy to remind the Doctor where his loyalty must eventually, she hopes, lie.

On a planet far, far away and after a very long time spent in the company of sentient jellyfish, the Doctor is resentful of the intrusion of his old forgotten life. It might be just me but I had a most awful flashback to Lewis Carroll's the Walrus and the Carpenter. You have to listen to get that reference or may be that is just me.

Someone has pressed the reboot button on the Eighth Doctor. He has been gone a long time and seems to have forgotten how much he enjoyed saving the human race. Although he remains a loyal friend, it's not to Lucy and she has to face the fact that he finds her tights more memorable than her personality.

I like the novelty of the good old half hour minute episodes from the days when we all sat down to watch them on (and behind) the family sofa and this is a great way to follow a most intriguing Doctor.

Sue Davies

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