‘SKIN DEEP’ (LC)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Lady Christina Meets Sylvia Noble
The second episode of the Series 1 CD box set of the ‘Lady Christina’ series is ‘Skin Deep’ by James Goss. It features Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina and Jacqueline King as Sylvia, Donna Noble’s mum!
I think it’s clear that James Goss is a huge fan of Sylvia Noble. He wrote for her character in the ‘Doctor Who’ stories ‘Wild Pastures’ and ‘No Place’. I’ve heard both of those stories featuring Sylvia.
Sylvia on the other hand is an acquired taste. She comes across as very snooty and looking down on people. Mind you, I was pretty surprised Sylvia would appear in a story of the ‘Lady Christina’ series.
Apart from her daughter Donna travelling with the Doctor, I didn’t know what connection Sylvia could have to Lady Christina. But it was fun to find out and I did enjoy this episode for the most part.
In the episode, Sylvia meets Lady Christina by chance and is soon swoon into high society. She gets to enjoy what the lifestyle of the aristocracy is like. She quickly becomes friends with Christina here.
I enjoyed the interaction between Christina and Sylvia in the early parts of the episode. Christina seems to take a liking to Sylvia and vice versa. I wondered why that was as I listened to this episode.
It became clearer later on that Christina wanted something off Sylvia. It seems Sylvia has a special kind of ring brought from her travels with the Doctor. There are a lot of rings thus far in this series! 🙂
I liked it when Sylvia made mention of her daughter Donna as well as her father Wilfred in the episode as she chats away to Lady Christina. For Sylvia, this episode takes place after ‘Journey’s End’.
I was surprised when Sylvia mentioned the Doctor and Lady Christina didn’t react like “Wait, you know the Doctor.” I was expecting her to react to that as it could have connected her to Sylvia more.
Christina brings Sylvia to a fancy high society party. She uses her as a distraction when she tries to break into a safe. It also turns out Christina’s father is attending the party, which was unexpected. 😀
William Gaminara guest stars as Lord Alfred de Souza in the episode. I enjoyed the scenes between Christina and her father in the episode. It highlights more her background in where she comes from.
The family background to Lady Christina had been hinted at in ‘Planet of the Dead’ itself, but it was never fully explored. I like how James Goss tackles that family aspect in this ‘Lady Christina’ episode.
At that party, Sylvia meets up with two snooty ladies – Suzy Bloom as Tamarind and Rebecca Yeo as Malia. Both start being friendly towards Sylvia before they turn out to be not very nice people at all.
Tamarind and Malia tell things to Sylvia about Christina that involves her cat-burglary. Sylvia outright challenges Christina regarding this and it does dampen their friendship before the story’s conclusion.
Tamarind and Malia also try to persuade Sylvia to use some special kind of beauty cream called Amber. This did put me in mind of the Adipose from ‘Partners In Crime’. There’s even a call to that. 🙂
The Amber is revealed to be an alien insect species invested in human beings such as Tamarind and Malia. Sylvia is pretty freaked out when she sees the beetles crawling about the place in the episode.
I did like that earlier scene in the episode where Lady Christina picks Sylva up via ‘the mighty 200’ bus to take her to the party. I wondered whether Lady Christina would actually fly the bus for Sylvia.
I honestly thought the episode was going to take the daring approach to kill off Christina’s dad once he was infected with the Amber. But he turned out alright in the end with the episode light-hearted.
Warren Brown as Sam Bishop makes a brief appearance at the end of the episode when checking up on Sylvia and giving her strong antibiotics. I do wonder when he and Christina will properly meet up. 😀
Overall, ‘Skin Deep’ was an enjoyable romp of an episode with Lady Christina meeting Sylvia Noble. The episode’s end was complex and had a lot going on, but for the most part it was really well done.
‘Skin Deep’ (LC) rating – 8/10
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