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Iris Wildthyme -The Panda Invasion by Mark Magrs

01/09/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Iris Wildthyme The Panda Invasion in the USA - or Buy Iris Wildthyme The Panda Invasion in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minutes. Price: CD 10.99 (UK), Download: 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-369-9. cast: Katy Manning, David Benson, Toby Longworth and Sean Carlsen.

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It's 1999 and the party to end the millennium is in full swing on planet Earth. Iris Wildthyme takes Panda there for his birthday but they are soon in all kinds of trouble and no one is in the party mood. Before you know it there is an accident involving gin and tonic and the space-time do-da creates a new Panda. He's not so cuddly and wears a cravat.

Due to banging her bonce, Iris is taken to hospital and is soon smoozing the on-duty doctor at the San Francisco ER. As usual, she fails to notice he's not a candidate for her charms but you can't blame an old girl for trying.

So Panda has to cope with the dubiously oily Lionel Pandeau, smarmily voiced by Toby Longworth. Lionel is rather disparaging of our Panda and is plotting a mass invasion as the century turns. The displaced pandas are all shapes and all sizes and it looks like it's up to Iris to save the day, if she can drag herself away from fluttering her eyelashes at the dishy doctor.

I've yet to hear an Iris story that doesn't delight. This woman is a force of nature. If only gin and tonic affected me in the same way. If you are ever feeling down just listen to Katy Manning and David Benson channelling their alter egos. They make the dashing Doctor Who appear rather staid and boring.

For Doctor watchers there is even a witty reference to the demonstration at the Institute of Technological Research in San Francisco where Doctor Number 8 is having his own issues with the Master. I guess there is unlikely to be a TV version of this particular set of travelling companions but the raunchy Iris would make a great change and give us some well-needed laughs.

Sue Davies

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