01/01/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
CD. pub: Big Finish ISBN: 978-1-84435-307-1. 60 minute CD. Price: £10.99 (UK). £ 8.99 download). Cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Art Malik, Barbara Flynn, Giles Watling, Sean Biggerstaff, Mikey O'Connor and Katarina Olsson.
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The Doctor and Lucie have arrived on a wonderful planet of Indigo 3. It's perfect. It's blue. It's very perfect and very blue. The locals have at least eighty words for the colour blue. The desert has perfect dunes and everything on the planet is well...perfect. But the locals don't like perfect and there is a monastery to pray for imperfections. The Sanctuary of Imperfect Symmetry has a few secrets and it's not an easy place to get into unless you agree to sign on the dotted line. There is something nasty in the paddling pool of the monastery and the Doctor and Lucie, with her big mouth, walk straight into the mystery and get their feet wet.
Once again, the partnership of Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith overcomes a convoluted plot. Whatever the story, they always put everything into their performance to make you believe in the unbelievable. The plot in this is thin with some embellishments but again everything sounds better because there are some great actors throwing out the lines. Barbara Flynn is a newbie to Doctor Who but has been seen in various cult shows such as 'Open All Hours' and 'Cracker'. Most recently for UK viewers, she was one of a strong female cast in 'Cranford'.
I know its Elizabeth Gaskell and not really cult but you have to live a little. Here she is Sister Thrift who is quick to sign up Lucie to holy orders. Abbot Absolute is not so sure. He's played by Art Malik as a slick and silky-voiced operator who is in over his head and sinking fast. They have some house-guests in the pool who are rather snappy.
This is the not the best out of all the second series of the Eighth Doctor and Lucie. They do spend an awful lot of time chasing each other and speaking in silly voices. It's a hammy plot which doesn't stand-up to close scrutiny but there is still plenty of snippy dialogue that should keep the Lucie fans happy.
Overall, the series has been excellent and there is news that next year the new audio adventure series will be available in half hour downloads every Saturday night for sixteen consecutive weeks from Saturday 7th March 2009. Each complete two-part story will subsequently be available on CD as normal, with one a month being released from March. In addition, there will be a bonus ninth adventure that will be released as a Christmas Special in December 2009.
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