01/10/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 60 minute CD. Price: download: £ 8.99; CD: £ 10.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-399-6)cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Stephen Moore, Sophie Winkleman, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Katarina Olsson, Kerry Godliman, Richard Earl, Anthony Spargo, Beth Chalmers and Barnaby Edwards.
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The Doctor has come to Earth again and is meddling/helping with stuff. I like the idea that the Eighth Doctor is happy to potter about in a lab the way the Pertwee Doctor did all those years ago. You know something is going to crop up but the mundanity of him booking into a B&B made me giggle. Do you think he had time for the full English? Lucie, left to her own devices for some reason, develops some existential angst about her role in his life.
No sooner has she thought this, than up pops an old sparring partner. It's Karen who has left the Head Hunters and wants to introduce Lucie to the truth. She thinks it might sort out her issues with the Doctor.
So it's not long before the Doctor is knee deep in the missing interplanetary probe, Lucie is clutching a mysterious crystal, running a cult and shutting him out of her life, oh and it looks like the world is going to end.
This is part one of the two-parter which brings Series 3 to a close. Its written by Eddie Robson who likes to get us all worked up over a couple of hours and likes a good, menacing enemy.
It's an unlikely story but what isn't in the pantheon of the Doctor? Number Eight does seem to be generally lighter in tone to the rest of the classic Doctors hanging around on Big Finish. He doesn't get to chew the scenery like McCoy or Baker. This Doctor has more in common with the softness of Peter Davison's character and there is a lot more humour. Once again, Sheridan Smith as Lucie takes a substantial part of the action and carries off a good part. She has plenty to say and a lot of it to herself. We also get another Doctor but only a researcher, Avishka Sangakaara played by Sanjeev Baskar who is better known in the UK for his comedy roles. Those long lived fans will note the addition of Stephen Moore (once Marvin the Paranoid Android from 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy') who manages to play the part of a cult leader who backs away from what he's started with just the right degree of dignity with a side order of panic. Karen (played by Kerry Godliman), the returning side-kick of the Head Hunter, is good value and Sophie Winkleman plays Kelly Westwood an investigative journalist who is about to expose the cult who call themselves the Eight Fold Truth.
It all leads up to a cliff-hanger of a final episode with the dastardly truth revealed behind the Eight Fold Truth. It's fun and because of the with the threat never ever feels real. It lacks depth so it's not behind the sofa scary. However, it's articulate, funny and runs along for its hour quite nicely.
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