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Storm Warning - Welcome to the Doctor who never was!,
This review is from: Storm Warning (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the sixteenth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight and India Fisher as Charlie Pollard. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.
This was a really welcome development in the Big Finish range for me, introducing us to the Doctor who never was, and showing just what great things might have happened had the TV execs been a bit more trusting. Coming just over a year since their first release, Big Finish already had a strong record of delivering interesting stories for old doctors, and new takes on old villains. But here they had the opportunity to do something really special. With almost nothing to go on from his all too brief TV movie appearance, Big Finish and McGann were faced with the task of creating a characterisation almost totally from scratch. And wow! What a job they did. McGann grabs the opportunity with both hands, giving us a character that has elements of past Doctors but with his own stamp of youthful enthusiasm and a sense of fun and wonder at the universe. It's thoroughly entertaining.
After a brief teaser that introduces us nicely to the character of Eight, he finds himself roaming around the airship R101, seemingly unerringly drawn towards trouble in the form of a fake steward and a passenger who is rather special indeed. The story proceeds at a brisk pace as the Doctor gets sucked into an adventure involving the mysterious passenger and some secret squirrel military types who seem to think the R101 is on a top secret and important mission rather than just a run of the mill maiden voyage to Karachi. As others have noted, the story sags a little in part three, with some clumsy exposition, but picks up again in part four for a rip roaring ending and the set up of a problem that will come back to haunt the Doctor in later adventures.
Every Doctor needs a companion, and here India Fisher steps up to the plate as Edwardian adventuress Charlotte Pollard (Charlie to her friends). It was a bit of a surprise to me hearing her, as I have heard her so often doing the voice-over for Masterchef! She delivers a really great companion, full of spirit and over later releases her pairing with McGann has become one of my favourite Doctor/Companion duos.
4 stars. It would have been five apart from the slightly saggy third episode. And better was yet to come with the following release, the Sword of Orion.