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Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV returning to the role to read an all new story featuring their character. They do all the voices save one which is performed by another actor.

And they run for two episodes of thirty minutes each and are on a single cd.

This one sees the return of Lalla Ward to the role of Romana, which she performed on TV opposite Tom Baker's Doctor in his later years in the part, and which she's played in two previous companion chronicles and some other audio projects also.

The invasion of e-space is written by Andrew Smith, who wrote the 1980 fourth doctor tv story full circle, which intoduced the character of Adric as a companion. And it's set between the next two stories State of Decay and Warrior's Gate, which saw the TARDIS crew trying to escape from another universe known as e-space.

In this story, whilst they look for a way back to their universe, they find aliens from there have created a gateway in and out of e space of their own. And they are using it for an attack on a planet called Ballustra.

Marni Tellus, a female detective from the planet is caught up in action with the TARDIS crew when the aliens attack. And they quickly find that not just the fate of Ballustra is at stake. Because if the aliens aren't stopped, the fate of both universes could hang in the balance as well...

This tries to be epic space opera, and whilst it could be a rather dry accounting of events - the narrative device has it that both Romana and Marni are recording their stories for posterity - it actually works rather well, thanks to the two actresses. Both are playing strong and intelligent women and they add great depth to their characters via their acting. Romana having some nice sardonic moments and a nice little scene where she gets to know Adric a little better. Lalla Ward's attempt at doing his voice is probably the best bit of older actor doing younger voice acting big finish have ever done.

With some great sound design and some suitably epic music moments of this become quite gripping and really throw you into the middle of the action, convincing the listener that big battle sequences are going on.

The pace does drop off a little in episode two and Romana is a passive observer for the bulk of that. And the ultimate solution to the problems at hand don't come from her either.

So the second part isn't quite as good as the first. But that's made up for slightly by some nice final moments as the narrative strands for Romana and Marni come to somewhat memorable ends that will linger for a while.

So it's not quite classic stuff but it's a throughly entertaining audio and well above average.

There's a trailer for the next release in the range at the start of the disc and roughly nine and a half minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 February 2012
This is another of the Companion Chronicles, where one of the Doctor's companions relates a story from their time with their Doctor - in this case, Romana II tells of an adventure in E-Space with the Fourth Doctor, shortly after they had gained Adric as a Tardis companion.

As the Doctor and Romana seek a way to get back to N-Space, they find what seems too good to be true; a CVE forming that they should be able to reach in time to find their way back. But what does the forming of the CVE mean for the nearby planet of Ballustra, where Marni Tellis has been investigating brutal murders; and is someone or something coming the other way through the CVE?

The voice of Suanne Braun as Marni Tellis sounded so familiar that I had to do some more research - now I remember her from Stargate SG-1 when she played Hathor. Her voice is very smooth and distinct; she plays the part in this story of a law enforcement officer with precision and clarity; great casting I thought.

This is a great Doctor Who story; a good and solid story of the time of the Doctor and Roman in E-Space, and a good overall Doctor Who `classic'-feeling story of the Fourth Doctor. Thoroughly recommended in the Companion Chronicles.
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