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Zagreus - Weird and wonderful experiment.
on 4 May 2010
To celebrate 40 years of Doctor Who, and the 50th Big Finish audio adventure, something big and ambitious was required. A multi-Doctor story is a traditional way of marking anniversaries, but the Big Finish team have decided to play around with the traditional format and deliver a very experimental story that breaks the mould somewhat.
This is an Eighth Doctor story, following the saga of Charlotte Pollard and the repercussions of her continued existence after the Doctor rescued her from certain death on the R101. Following the events of `Neverland', the Doctor and the Tardis have been infected with anti time. Trapped within the Tardis, the Doctor is struggling to fight the infection and regain his own identity, and Charlie is trying to find the Doctor. The Tardis is trying to help both of them, guiding them with familiar and voices from the past.
There are a whole host of ex (and future) companions here, but not all playing the parts that we are familiar with. This also goes for Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, and makes for a very interesting story. The highlights are Nicholas Courtney with a warm and comforting performance, and the inclusion of a fan recording of the great Jon Pertwee, his appearance makes this a special event. Paul McGann holds the whole thing together with a strong central performance.
Spread over nearly 4 hours and three discs, the story is quite involved, and very intriguing. Adequate time is given to all the special guests, and the whole thing comes together very nicely in the final scenes as all the strands are tied up and the Doctor and Charlie's fates become clear. The big experiment in the production in the main works very well, and this is indeed a very special celebration of the anniversary. It is, however, very necessary that you listen to a few of the Charlie Pollard/Eighth Doctor storie, especially Stormwarning and Neverland first in order to get backstory.