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Doctor Who: Patient Zero by Nicholas Briggs

01/10/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: Patient Zero in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: Patient Zero in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 120 minute 2 CDs. Price: download: 12.99 (UK). CD: 14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-412-2)cast: Colin Baker, India Fisher, Michael Maloney, Jess Robinson and Nicholas Briggs.

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It's all coming to a head for Charlie Pollard. She's been avoiding the truth and the lies she's told will destroy her. She can't tell the Doctor she has met him before in his future and seen him die. She can't disturb the web of time any more. She should be dead, in the R101 crash. Her existence is a glitch in reality. It looks like time wants normal service to resume.

She was happy with her Doctor and likes the one she is travelling with now but it can't last. The TARDIS turns against her. She is registered as an intruder and then infected by something the Doctor cannot help her with. His only option is to put her in the medical bay so he can travel time and space to look for a cure. Meanwhile, Charlie has other problems. There is someone else in the TARDIS, someone that wants her life.

When the Doctor is drawn to the Amethyst Viral Containment Station and meets its keeper, Fratalin, he thinks he might finally get an answer. But Fratalin is expecting the Viyrans who are coming to take charge of all the viruses from the station and they are not the only visitors on their way.

This is the first instalment of a three month farewell for Charlie Pollard. She's had amazing adventures with the Doctor but we know it's all going to end. This is a very atmospheric story and conveyed a real sense of ending and loss for the Doctor but particularly for Charlie. She has always been aware that she cannot continue to change the subject when he asks about her past and her excuses are sounding lame to herself. This play blows a hole right through everything we hope for Charlie and it's a nail-biting episode as we ponder just how it is going to end. There are very few actors in this episode and aside from slightly confusing multiplication they do a brilliant job keeping us on top of the plot. Worth at least three listens.

Two further instalments follow, 'Paper Cuts' and 'The Blue Forgotten Planet'. I can't wait.

Sue Davies

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