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Doctor Who: Worldwide Web by Eddie Robson

1/07/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: Worldwide Web in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: Worldwide Web in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 60 minute CD. Price: GBP 10.99 (UK), Download: GBP 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-400-9). cast: Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Stephen Moore, Sophie Winkleman, Sanjeeve Bhaskar, Katarina Olsson, Kerry Godliman, Richard Earl, Anthony Spargo, Beth Chambers and Barnaby Edwards.

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In a direct sequel to the final John Pertwee ‘Doctor Who’ story, ‘Planet Of The Spiders’, this adventure started in ‘The Eighth Truths’ and ‘Worldwide Web’ is the final episode on the fourth series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures.

The Eight Legs are not keen on being called spiders or indeed creepy-crawlies as they are intent on their mission to take over the human race on Earth. This plot also ties up with the very beginning of the series ‘Orbis’ and it all comes together with the return of a previous baddie, the Headhunter. Don’t forget to bring the insecticide.

The Doctor and Lucie have been separated, not only by events but by Lucie’s state of mind. They have a long way to go to meet again and Lucie is in great danger. She’s at the centre of the plotting of the Eight Legs. Taken over by the Queen of the Eight Legs, Lucie can only stare out of her eyes as her every movement is dictated by the spider.

As this is a continuation of the last story, the Doctor is again joined by Dr. Avishka Sangakkara, a young researcher who endeavours to help where he can. Played by Sanjeev Bhaskar he brings some quiet concentration and a little bit of naivety to the role, a contrast to the frenetic pace associated with Lucie Millar. The inevitable investigative journalist, Kelly (Sophie Winkleman), keeps everything moving and Stephen Moore returns as Goodman. He’s the almost innocent and vulnerable head of the uncontrollable cult that managed to welcome in the Eight Legs. He runs away from the cult to tell the Doctor and Kelly the truth about the prophecies he was selling. His made up prophecy is all about to come true.

The blue stones have become all important as the Eight Legs using the humans as a portal find their way into our world. Every member of the Eight Fold Truth has a blue crystal and that just what the Eight Legs need. The Headhunter returns and Karen finds out that opting out of Eight Leg possession is not an option.

As Lucie fights for survival inside her own skull, the Doctor must use his hastily assembled companions to get to the headquarters of the Eight Fold Truth before the world comes to an end. Did I mention the world was about to end?

Using an old foe from the Pertwee years and bringing them slap bang into the modern era gives lots of opportunities for fun and games. Robson also uses ideas such as downloading personalities into the TARDIS that are becoming familiar from the revived Doctor Who, so Lucie gets to interact with the TARDIS telepathic circuits.

Sheridan Smith is perfect as Lucie and her alien possessor as they play cat and mouse in the neural pathways. Paul McGann is intense as the problem solving Doctor who recruits like-minds into his crazy schemes. Sophie Winkleman does a good sassy journalist and Sanjeev Bhaskar is meek as the quietly efficient Avishka who keeps the Doctor up-to-date. Oh and according to this, the Doctor likes a burger.

This finally gets into the dark and dangerous with very little leavening of humour although there is enough to lighten the mood occasionally. Writer Eddie Robson enjoys mixing cults and corporate life. He rounds the series off well and brings the darkness in which gives a much needed boost to the Eighth Doctor.

Sue Davies

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