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Doctor Who: Project: Destiny

1/12/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: Project: Destiny in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: Project: Destiny in the UK

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Doctor Who: Project: Destiny by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. pub: Big Finish. 120 minutes 2 CDs. Price: CD: GBP14.99 (UK), Download: GBP12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-475-7). cast: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Philip Olivier, Stephen Chance, Maggie O'Neill, Philip Dinsdale and Ingrid Oliver .

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Seventh Doctor and he’s been on a bit of a vacation with Tracey Childs as he battled against her plans to re-establish the Reich in her won alternate time-line. It reached devastating conclusion and showed an interesting character trait of this alien who it seemed was prepared to sacrifice individuals for the greater good. That may not play well with the fans of the Doctor who prefers saving the individual over the many.

That was then and this is now and another stunning trilogy is unfolding as Sylvester McCoy returns with ‘Project: Destiny’ followed by ‘A Death In The Family’ concluding with ‘Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge’. This series, as they are all linked, will be the last performances of Philip Olivier who plays Hex and he is getting a superb send-off.

When we previously heard from Ace, Hex and the Doctor it was in ‘The Angel Of Scutari’, set in the Crimean War and ended on a cliff-hanger with Hex shot with a rather unsanitary bullet by a man convinced he was a spy. In their bid to save his life, Ace and the Doctor decide to take him back to the future and St. Gart’s, London, where Hex used to be a nurse.

They are shocked to find London silent and empty, the hospital closed down but they gain access anyway only to be met with arms and hostility. The Doctor also encounters his old adversary, Nimrod, now known as Sir William Abberton (Stephen Chance), someone who knows the truth about Thomas Hector Scofield.

There is going to be a reckoning but it has to wait, the infection is rife and there is something nasty going on in the quarantined London. The Doctor and must put aside his concerns about Hex while he seeks to find a cure. Ace must swallow her bile to report for duty with the team who must secure London against a terrifying alien invasion. Hex, meanwhile, is getting far too close to the truth for the Doctor’s liking.

Another gripping story this has some ramifications for the next in the trilogy and a highly emotional finish. The only problem I had with this was the back-story, although there is a reasonable amount of explanation in this audio. Other parts of the story are from Maggie’s adventures with the Sixth Doctor in ‘Project: Twilight’ and ‘Project: Lazarus’. (Yes, I know it looks like there are a few more to obtain…) The emotional rendering, though, was superb and makes this a worthwhile investment in every sense. There is a terrible price to pay when Hex realises his father-figure may indeed have feet of clay and how will Ace feel as she realises that the Doctor has lied to them both?

Once again the team of Big Finish and writers Cavan Scott and Mark Wright have managed to wring the emotion and bring past mistakes back to bit the Doctor on the bum. It’s interesting to have a Doctor who acts in self-interest as much as for others. The control freak character is a side bar to the usual, ‘I must sacrifice myself to save the world’ vibe. It is a great start to the run of three, ‘A Death In The Family’ picks up the moment after this concludes, and I can’t wait.

Sue Davies

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