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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars 45 years and going stronger than ever, 27 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Forty Five (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Egypt 1902 is the setting for the opening story in this 45th anniversary compilation featuring The Seventh Doctor and his companions Ace and Hex. We are in familiar Doctor Who territory when the travellers meet archaeologist Howard Carter of Tutankhamen fame, several years before he became famous. Carter is in the process of uncovering the secrets of the pyramids; however his student, Jane, is not all that she seems, and Ace finds herself flung into a far-off future where global warming has reached its zenith, and robotic guardians protect the Earth's desolate shell...

Creepy gothic mansions and mad scientists have always made for great Doctor Who; think Ghostlight or The Brain of Morbius. The second of 45's mini-stories: Order of Simplicity is no exception, as The Doctor's search for some stray `psionic' energy sees the TARDIS arrive in just such a place, filled with sinister characters. While Hex nervously explores the house, The Doctor and Ace discover that a virus that destroys the intellect is being manufactured in the house; leaving those infected with an IQ of 45...Moody, atmospheric and tense, the story builds tension nicely, and also has a great twist...

The third story on 45 brings the travellers to London 1945 - and VE Day. Ace is disturbed to find herself back in her old neighbourhood as The Doctor continues to search for the source of the leaking psionic energy. Hex finds solace in the local pub while Ace tries not to jeopardise her own timeline when she again meets her mother, but this time as a small child. Shades of 1989 TV adventure `The Curse of Fenric' abound; the presence of alien technology in post-war Britain alerts The Doctor, and the race is on to find and remove it before a calamity occurs. This is an emotionally resonant story that follows the new series' lead of focusing on the lives of the Doctor's companions and basing the story around them. The Doctor, Ace and Hex make a great team; the subtle undercurrent of sexual tension between Ace and Hex is noticeable but not intrusive, whilst Sylvester McCoy's Machiavellian Timelord is on top form.

The final story is set in an Antarctic bunker in the year 2045; a conference delegate has been murdered and the TARDIS crew are naturally the prime suspects due to their (un)timely arrival. Strangely enough The Doctor's old employers UNIT are again involved, and the time-travellers quickly find themselves at the centre of events. As the situation escalates the TARDIS crew find themselves caught up in a desperate race to avert the destruction of all life, as the deadly `Word Lord' appears on the scene, and begins to annihilate the bunker's inhabitants one by one...

The four stories all stand alone nicely but are loosely linked by the theme of 45. CD extras are the usual interviews with cast and crew, and are as informative and entertaining as ever, with the contribution from the delightful Sophie Aldred being the pick of the bunch.
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