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Dead London: The Death penalty? For a PARKING offence?!?,,
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Dead London 2.1 CD (Big Finish Adventures) (Audio CD)
First released in 2007, this is the first episode of a of the second season of standalone releases for Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor outside of the monthly range of Big Finish releases. This is a one disc release, with a single 50 minute episode. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the disc.
The story opens with the Doctor being tried in court for parking offences in contemporary London. Suddenly the scene shifts and he is catapulted into 17th century London and to the tender mercies of Judge Jeffries. Meanwhile Lucie, who started on a shopping trip in 2008 finds herself dodging trams in 1917. Needless to say, something odd is going on, and when the Doctor finds out what it is he is opposed to it and sets out to stop whatever it is.
It's a tale with potential, but never really lives up to it. Somehow the threat to the Doctor and his friends never seems quite real, and the ending is all a bit too easy. A bit more dramatic tension would have helped things along. And The Doctor and Lucie are separated for much of the adventure, a real problem as it is their excellent chemistry together that really drove even the wesaker episodes of the first season. So much is the Doctor/Lucie relationship missed that the writers include a companion for the Doctor who is very much like Lucie in many respects.
Whatever the faults of the script, one cannot accuse the actors of giving anything less than 100%. McGann is having fun again as the Doctor, and here his tiggerish side is to the fore. Sheridan Smith is simply superb as Lucy, and Rupert Van Tissart gives an excellent villainous performance that is worthy of a much better script.
All in all, not a great attention grabbing series opener. It tries to be a bit different but forgets about the drama in the process. A weak tale that I rarely listen to, preferring to jump to Max Warp instead. 2 stars.