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Doctor Who: Nevermore by Alan Barnes

01/11/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: Nevermore in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: Nevermore in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minute story and extras. Price: CD: GBP 10.99 (UK), download: GBP 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-477-1) stars: Paul McGann, Niky Wardley, Fenella Woolgar, Michael J Shannon, Emilia Fox, Eric Loren and John Banks.

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Never let a cat drive your TARDIS.

‘Nevermore,’ quoth the raven and when a mysterious cat appears in his TARDIS, the Eighth Doctor and his new companion, Tamsin Drew, find themselves landing on a mysterious planet.

In short order, the Doctor and Tamsin are separated. He meets some huge mechanical ravens and Tamsin has her first near-death experience, probably the first of many. The reason for the planet’s condition is explained and a man who is Edgar Allen Poe’s biggest fan comes to call on his high security prisoner.

This charming riff on the literary and gothic heritage of Poe is clever and funny. The characters are larger than life and some even have American accents. It makes manful efforts to bring as much of Poe’s work into the main plot but even if you don’t have much familiarity with the American writer it still tells a great story. ‘Nevermore’ gives the Doctor an opportunity to reminisce about his old mate Edgar and even manages a story about Gallifrey and its problem with giant mice…

I’m not being hit in the face with a series arc at the moment but I’m content enough with this story. It’s a good yarn and has some credible guest stars notably Emilia Fox (currently starring in ‘Merlin’). I am not that enthused by Tamsin as the new companion at present, she seems rather colourless compared to Lucie Millar. There doesn’t seem to be an interesting character to be found in the out of work actress so I’m hoping it’s all a cover for another Turlough style revelation.

CD and download extras are the standard interviews and background to the plot development but I think the production stands and falls on its Poe background and it works that well bringing in robotic ravens, poetry passwords and even the 'The Fall Of The House Of Usher'. I expect there’s more by clever clogs Alan Barnes so I need to go back and take some notes.

Sue Davies

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