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The Girl Who Never Was (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Dec 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (30 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844352870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844352876
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2015
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This is the 103rd release in the Main Release range by Big Finish, and features the Eighth Doctor travelling with Charley. This story takes place directly after the fate of C’rizz has been decided in the previous story (Absolution), and Charley finds it hard to forgive the Doctor for the way she feels he handled the situation. She has decided to leave him, and he agrees to take her back to her own time, though she knows she can never go to her family. But somehow, the Tardis ends up in the wrong time, and then another wrong time. Add to that the fairly wrong people that Charley has found herself mixed up with, and things are going very awry indeed. Even the Tardis has decided it may be better off elsewhere.

This is a really good story, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it follows through well to a resolution of sorts with Charley and in her relationship with the Eighth Doctor. Secondly, the split times in which the story unfolds makes for a very interesting and rather complex narrative as the story progresses. For spoilers, I would not say more, but suffice it to say that the revelations which pop out as the story goes on are rather surprising, and very intriguing.

Another reason the story is so good is the cast. Paul McGann does a fantstic job, as always as the Eighth Doctor, and India Fisher is great as Charley, albeit that Charley does behave rather badly through the story. Danny Webb as Byron puts on a good show as a ‘fair dinkum Aussie’, and Anna Massey is, of course, utterly brilliant in her role. Other parts are admirably filled by quite a large cast, and there are surprises aplenty in the story, both in personal matters and in world/universe-shaking matters. The story ends successfully as a stand-alone story, but also offers a tantalising glimpse into the evolution of some of the characters, which is picked up in The Condemned (#105 in the BF Main Range).
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This is the hundred and third release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight, India Fisher as Charlie and guest stars Anna Massey and Danny Webb. There are 4 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 pictures of the cast and production notes.

Following the events of `Absolution', Charlie asks the Doctor to take her home so that she can end her travels with him. He reluctantly agrees, and they head towards Singapore in 1932, where Charlie was headed when the Doctor rescued her from the R101. Of course, things don't go to plan, and suddenly the two are thrown into an adventure across time as they investigate a mysterious ship that keeps appearing and disappearing, and an old lady in the twentieth century who claims to be called Charlotte Pollard...

It's an excellent tale for the pair, and fine high note for their partnership to end on. There is plenty for each to do, as they are separated some 60 years apart. India Fisher in particular really shines as Charlie. Paul McGann is superb as Eight, especially in his scenes with the older Charlotte. Towards the end of the story they rediscover some of the old fun that marked their partnership, and even though you know they will part company before the end of the play, the story keeps playing around with you and altering your expectations. The final end, when it comes is numbing, and a beautiful set up for the new direction that Charlie is to take within the main range of Dr Who releases. Those of you with sharp ears will detect a clue as to her new direction in the final theme music.
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Big Finish's Eighth Doctor has been through a lot in the last twelve months. He has gained a new companion on BBC7 and in the Monthly Series release before this, 'Absolution', he lost C'Rizz. This story follows on from that story and picks up the threads it left dangling. It is a story about the end of a relationship and coming to terms with that.

It is entirely appropriate that we end as we began - with Alan Barnes. He created Charley in the audio adventure 'Storm Warning' and shifted their relationship forward in 'Neverland'.

The script for 'The Girl Who Never Was' is much more complex than that of 'Storm Warning', spreading its narrative over multiple time zones. Complicated narrative structures can sometimes be the kiss of death for an audio as the medium requires concentration and engagement at the best of times but this holds up nicely with strong lead and guest performances keeping attention and a few superb twists along the way.

It is a script that draws together on what has come before however so unless you have heard previous Eighth Doctor and Charley stories you will likely feel lost and much less engaged. Likewise if you have never liked this pairing the story will likely leave you cold as much of its appeal is linked to its audience hoping that the Doctor and Charley do not part on bad terms.

In fact the strong emotions of Charley and the Doctor superbly contrast with the cold, emotionless Cybermen who serve as the physical threat to the Doctor and Charley. They sound excellent (Cyberfans: picture The Invasion Cybermen with Tenth Planet voices) but in many ways they are not the focus of this story.
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