Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures: What Lies Inside? by John Dorney, Stewart Pringle and Lauren Mooney (CD review).

Last heard in ‘Stranded Series volumes 1-4’, the team are back on the road again or, in this case, the hyperspace bypass. The TARDIS travellers consisting of the eighth Doctor (Paul McGann), Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) and Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) are very keen to seek out a change of scene, because that always works.

Having been on lockdown on Earth, the team are out and about in the universe. This time we have one space-based adventure and an Earth-based experience. There’s something for everyone. The opener is a two-parter with the menacing pepper pots and Liv’s got prior with them. Helen has yet to meet them and this adventure manages to make it a unique and immersive experience for Helen.

Paradox Of The Daleks by John Dorney.

This two-parter sees the trio walk smack bang into an alarming situation which is a time-based adventure. As ‘Doctor Who’ often ignores the obvious actual time related adventures, it’s great to step back in the time vortex with the group as they try to extract themselves from the likely fatal consequence of running into the Daleks.

A nicely organised and minimum cast means it’s easy to keep tabs on who’s who. Wait, scrap that, this is a tricksy little number and I assume the storyboard was scrawled on the blank wall of Dorney’s abode/cave to keep it on track. The travellers are able assisted by the two other actors who play Jemash (Amy Rockson) and Peetom (Joseph Millson), the pair of hapless scientists who have managed to attract the attention of the Daleks with their new, shiny time tunnel. Peetom is played to perfection by Millson. He is particularly adrift in a sea of ignorance and, even when he finally makes it to shore, I’m not sure he will be able to explain it to anyone. The Daleks are mastered by the ever-scary tones of Nick Briggs.

This is an absolutely brilliant time travelling tale. It’s also hilarious and, as the Daleks don’t have a sense of humour, they just don’t get the jokes. There is some almost visual slapstick and the plot is so twisty that the Daleks have no chance of outwitting the Doctor.

The Dalby Spook by Lauren Mooney and John Dorney 

A little girl called Voirrey (Felicity Cant) lives with her father and is visited by the famous debunker of spooks, Mr. Harry Price (Philip Jackson). It’s 1935 and the table-shakers are still in full swing after the First World War saw people become obsessed with contacting the dead.

Harry is cynical and world-weary. He sees the little girl as a fake desperate for attention and determines to find her out. Meanwhile, the Doctor has received a distress signal and arrives on the Isle of Man with Helen and Liv. There’s no time for a donkey ride. The Doctor recognises Harry Price and he’s going to see Gef the talking mongoose (Harry Myers).

Voirrey is obviously a lonely little girl but she devoutly believes in Gef’s existence. Who wouldn’t want a talking mongoose as a friend? The Doctor is concerned that there is much more than an Earth-bound entity at work. The encounter raises some painful memories for Helen and the women are determined that she won’t be exploited or mistreated.

Podcasts about poltergeists and other mysterious goings on are very on trend at the moment so this story is timely indeed. The cast were surprised to find this was a true life haunting on the Isle of Man in the 1930s.

This is a great time to join the eighth Doctor. The scripts are sharp and the action fast-paced. Just when you think the Daleks are on the shelf, they get shaken up again. The second story is about being open-minded and not taking the obvious routes. It’s fascinating that its tied into an original lived and unexplained experience which adds an extra frisson to the story. The eighth Doctor continues to entertain and intrigue in equal measure.

Sue Davies

February 2023

(pub: Big Finish, 2022. 3 CDs 226 minutes. CD & download: £24.99 (UK), $30.12 (US). ISBN: 978-1-83868-752-6. Download: $24.09 (US). ISBN: 978-1-83868-753-3)

cast: Paul McGann, Nicola Walker, Hattie Morahan, Nicholas Briggs, Felicity Cant, Richard Earl, Philip Jackson, Joseph Millson, Harry Myers and Amy Rockson

check out website: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/doctor-who-the-eighth-doctor-adventures-what-lies-inside-2522

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