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Doctor Who Monthly Series: Blue Forgotten Planet by Nicholas Briggs

1/01/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who Monthly Series: Blue Forgotten Planet in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who Monthly Series: Blue Forgotten Planet in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 120 minute story and extras 2 CDs. Price: CD: 14.99 (UK); Download: 12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-414-6). Cast: Colin Baker, India Fisher, Michael Maloney, JJ Feild, Andree Bernard, Alec Newman, Sam Clemens, Alex Mallinson and Jess Robinson.

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At last, after three monthly episodes, this is time for companion Charley Pollard to finally say goodbye. Big Finish has not exactly milked her exit but they have made some cracking episodes to mark her departure. This one is a poignant look at memories, old friends and possible imminent death of the whole population of Earth.

'The Blue Forgotten Planet' series of documentaries is in full swing. The filmmakers are determined to record every single human face on Earth. They want to show their potential saviours they are worth saving. But the population is divided into those inside the stockade and those outside who are reverting to savages. Without regular medicine, all humans degenerate rapidly. The Viyrans are supplying the medicine for now but just who caused the plague of madness in the first place?

The real Charley is woken by her travelling companions, the Viyrans, and told there is a carbon copy of her on Earth. It can only be one person and Charley realises that the Doctor doesn't know she has been replaced. He hasn't forgotten her, he just cannot tell the difference. The new one is a prefect replica.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and the new Charley have already landed on the blue forgotten planet. Split up, they discover the different sides of the warring factions which come together in violent clashes as the medicine becomes increasingly ineffective.

This is a massive and cataclysmic episode which leads to the final parting of the ways and a heartbreaking conclusion to the dynamic relationship between Charley and the Doctor. Tears will be shed. I loved the rapport between Doctor Number 6 and Charley Pollard. The writers made us and them jump through increasingly higher hoops to keep the truth about Charley from the Doctor but that just made it more intriguing as we reach the end of the line. I think Colin Baker does the job exceptionally well and provides all the drama, pathos and laughs that a good Doctor should.

There are interviews as extras and 'The Hunting Ground' by Marc Platt, another episode of the Companion Chronicle featuring the Brigadier and Polly.

Colin Baker's Doctor won't be back until April next year, when he will be travelling with a new companion. In fact, it's old companion Jamie McCrimmon makes a welcome and interesting return to the blue box.

Sue Davies

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