‘ENEMY ALIENS’ (DOTD)
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Tribute for Paul McGann – Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Doctor Who’
August 2013. It’s time to celebrate the Eighth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ with Paul McGann!
This is one of the exciting and most intriguing releases of the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series, produced by Big Finish and AudioGo, to celebrate 50 years of ‘Doctor Who’. This is the eighth instalment of the ‘DOTD’ series called ‘Enemy Aliens’ by Alan Barnes. It features the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard.
With previous ‘DOTD’ stories (previously with ‘Shockwave’), this story is narrated and performed by an actor/actress who was in the TV series with a guest star as a supporting character. This time, ‘Enemy Aliens’ is performed by India Fisher as Charley from the Big Finish audios and guest stars Michael Maloney as Hilary Hammond.
The Eighth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ comprised of one adventure on TV, which was ‘The TV Movie’. It’s a shame that Paul McGann never got the chance to play the Doctor on TV and have his fair share of adventures. He was very good as the Doctor in ‘The TV Movie’ and could have had his own series.
Thankfully the Eighth Doctor has had a life of his own in comics, books and audio adventures of Big Finish. He was chosen to be the Doctor for the Big Finish audio/BBCi webcast of ‘Shada’ back in 2003. He’s also had many ‘Doctor Who’ companions in Charley Pollard and Lucie Miller in Big Finish audio.
My best mate and I have created our series of fan-fiction adventures with the Eighth Doctor. For the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, I wrote my personal fan-fiction story with the Eighth Doctor and a ‘Doctor Who’ companion, created by my best mate and me, to celebrate the Eighth Doctor era.
I was keen to find out who was going to read this special ‘DOTD’ tale with the Eighth Doctor. It’s a shame Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso (from the ‘TV movie’) weren’t able to read this story. But I’m glad it was decided to feature India Fisher as Charley, a companion from the Big Finish universe.
‘Enemy Aliens’ is a story that takes place during the Eighth Doctor’s earliest audio adventures from Big Finish in the early 2000s when travelling with Charley Pollard. For those unfamiliar to Big Finish, Charley is an Edwardian adventuress who first met the Eighth Doctor in the story ‘Storm Warning’.
Charley has had many adventures with the Eighth Doctor as she faced Cybermen; Daleks and a strange house in ‘The Chimes of Midnight’. She soon left the Eighth Doctor in the story ‘The Girl Who Never Was’ and soon travelled with the Sixth Doctor and had her own spin-off series with Big Finish.
In ‘Enemy Aliens’, the Doctor and Charley receive a message from a future Doctor (guess who if you’ve not paid attention). They’re told of an alien invasion in London 1935 and that William Tell, a operatic piece of music by Rossini is the key to it all. This story has a classic feel of ‘The 39 Steps’ in it.
Alan Barnes knows the Eighth Doctor inside-out, as he wrote for him in the comic adventures and wrote the Eighth Doctor and Charley’s first outing in ‘Storm Warning’. Alan also knows Charley inside-out and does well in providing such wit, energy and love for these characters in ‘Doctor Who’.
India Fisher is superb as Charley. I’ve enjoyed her adventures with Paul McGann’s Doctor in Big Finish. It gave me such a thrill to hear Charley again. Charley is feisty and full of adventure, and India plays her well as she did back in the early days. The mannerisms and gutsy behaviour are still there.
I liked India’s impersonation of the Eighth Doctor in this audio adventure. Having worked with Paul McGann, India is able to inject the tone and elegant energy of the Eighth Doctor from the Big Finish audios. I liked it when the Doctor’s relationship with Charley is touched upon from the audio stories.
Michael Maloney guest stars as Hillary Hammond. Hammond seems to have a bit of a fancy for Charley in this. He’s certainly engaging and intriguing to listen to. I felt sorry for him at the end when he was dangling in a worse position and the Doctor and Charley are chiding him before rescuing him.
The Eleventh Doctor’s appearance in this story is more significant as he sends a message to his eighth self which gets garbled with interference. I’m intrigued now as to what will happen in the last adventure of the ‘DOTD’ series. India also does a good impersonation of the Eleventh Doctor in this.
On a personal note, I’m very pleased the original David Arnold theme music is used for the beginning and the end of ‘Enemy Aliens’. It feels right and is definitely Eighth Doctor theme music for the era.
There aren’t any CD extras, apart from the Eighth Doctor and Charley’s biographies in the CD sleeve notes. If you purchase the complete ‘DOTD’ series as a bundle from Big Finish, there’s a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary on the series called ‘Meeting with Destiny’ with ‘The Time Machine’.
‘Enemy Aliens’ is a good contribution to an era of ‘Doctor Who’ that has been greatly expanded upon in various forms. This is a testament to the Eighth Doctor and has a lovely performance from India Fisher. I highly recommend that you listen to the Eighth Doctor audios adventures from Big Finish!
‘Enemy Aliens’ (DOTD) rating – 8/10
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