Aliens is the eighth installment of Destiny of The Doctor, the
joint-venture between AudioGo and Big Finish, this time featuring Paul
The Doctor and his companion of the same era, Charlotte ‘Charlie’
Pollard receive a message from a Time Lord in need and end up in
London’s West End in search of a mysterious alien, their only clue,
“William Tell.” The pair are separated and have to work hard to discover
just who are these Enemy Aliens and how can they save Great Britain.
an interesting choice of companion for this audio series. Paul McGann’s
Doctor has only officially appeared as the Time Lord once in the 1999
TV Movie (and in a few compilation clips in the post-2005 series). If
this audio were to follow the pattern of the other Destiny of The Doctor
stories we would have a story told from the point of view of one of his
on-screen companions: Doctor Grace Holloway or Asian-American gangster
Chang Lee. The Eighth Doctor has experienced a much more enduring tenure in
the audio medium and subsequently has the advantage here. He’s has had
many companions, but the most prominent and probably longest serving is
Fisher (voice of BBC One’s Masterchef fact fans, pictured right) is wonderful as Charlie and does an
excellent job narrating this new adventure. You can really tell she is a
voice artist. Where previously in this series companions reading a story and voicing
multiple characters might falter, India exceeds expectations. The
wonderful Michael Maloney (The White Queen, Hamlet, Babel, The Young
Victoria) is excellent as always but is woefully underused.
story here feels like a 30’s version of John Buchan’s 39 Steps (1915).
It takes our characters on a road adventure and sees a wonderful climax
and a timely end for the stories true villain; although rather unusually
leaves the story with almost a semi cliffhanger. It’s hilarious to hear
the Doctor exclaiming, “Rossini” instead of the memorable “Puccini”
from the TV movie; he clearly has a thing for composers. The story seems
to take a slight dip in the middle when the Doctor and Charlie are
separated; this gives Charlie’s character a chance to shine but the plot
comes to a grinding halt until the the time-traveling pair are
reunited. With Alan Barnes penning this story you can always be assured
plenty of subtle reference to classic Who and a group of strongly
choice to use Charlie as the companion and narrator here is both a
strong one and a risky one. Being a proponent of the Big Finish Eighth
Doctor audio series, means celebrations as we get to see more of
Charlie, but as a newer listener, this choice may alienate listeners who
are new to the genre. As this is meant to be the target audience for
these releases it seems an odd decision.
for a Doctor, who never really had the chance he deserved and, for me at
least, a Doctor of which I can never get enough.