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Doctor Who:Find And Replace by Paul Magrs

01/11/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicle - Find And Replace in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicle - Find And Replace in the UK

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pub: Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicle - Find And Replace by Paul Magrs. Big Finish. 60 minute CD. Price: CD: GBP 8.99 (UK), download: GBP 7.99. ISBN: 978-1-84435-485-6) cast: Katy Manning and Alex Lowe.

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Jo Grant’s just about finished her Christmas shopping. Entering the lift in her last department store, she sees an inconsequential man in its corner. When the lift gets stuck the man shows his true self and it’s not pretty. Huxley the Noveliser, last heard in ‘Ringpullworld’ has come to tell Jo’s story, but he’s getting it all wrong and totally confusing her. Didn’t she travel with the Doctor and battle with aliens including the Daleks? Huxley is quite insistent that she doesn’t know the Doctor at all and she travelled with a completely different person.

What she needs is a good strong drink and there’s a bus with a bar in the basement.

Katie Manning gets to play two parts and often is heard talking to herself. Happily, she also has Alex Lowe as the irrepressible Huxley in this quite low key ‘Companion Chronicle’. We already know that two worlds collide and the creator or Iris Wildthyme brings her in to the Doctor’s world this time.

I love both the characters and I can sort of see the point of letting Jo consider her past with the Doctor in a reflective way. There is even a deep moment of loss for her that is very touching. I found the plot it was wrapped into unsatisfying and was left thinking there was something missing. The main problem is bringing in the comedic Wildthyme into a poignant drama and I think that we lose the moments for Jo when it counter-parted too harshly with the old lush. For me it jars and breaks the wall that I accept for Jo Grant to come back and tell her story. I think the two characters that Manning does so admirably should be kept as far apart as possible as it does both a disservice

I was looking forward to this. It brings back Huxley from ‘Ringpullworld’ who has his own little quirks but his part in this also feels weak and despite the usual skilful presentation from the team of actors and Big Finish.

There are some wonderful word pictures and memories of early colour episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jon Pertwee but the emotional moments were cut across too much by the comedy and the point there the comedy alter ego meets the Doctor doesn’t not ring true.

Sue Davies

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