This audio adventure features the Eighth Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and his great-grandson Alex. It is the final part of a trilogy written by Marc Platt and also features the Doctor’s most recent companion, Lucie Miller. Lucie has shared many audio adventures with the Eighth Doctor, but I was previously wholly unfamiliar with her. This is her description from the CD liner notes: “A non-nonsense 19-year-old from Blackpool, who ended up in the TARDIS when the Time Lords made an administrative error, placing here on a ‘witness protection scheme’. Lucie and the Doctor went on to explore all of time and space, to battle all sorts… but it all came to an end one grim Christmas in Blackpool, when Lucie learned that the Doctor had conspired with the Zygon Hogoth to conceal the death of her beloved Aunty Pat. After a spell in the company of the Meddling Monk, Lucie is back at the Doctor’s side.”
Relative Dimensions, too, is a Christmas story, but it has less a Christmas theme than a Christmas setting. It starts as a simply Christmas get-together of family and friends. Lucie feels out of place because she’s not family, and Alex feels out of place because he doesn’t know his grandfather as well as his mother, or even Lucie, does. The Doctor has mapped his grandson’s genome and, despite the fact Alex is only 7% Gallifreyan, definitely plans to leave the TARDIS to him as his birthright. The threat builds slowly and is tied to a life form Susan, as a girl, brought aboard from the planet Quinnis. The Doctor has kept Susan’s old room in stasis all this time, but when he brings it back, the “timefish” is revived from dormancy.
One thing I had been looking for in these adventures involving Susan Foreman Campbell was a confrontation with her grandfather for leaving her behind against her will on a battle-ravaged Earth all those years ago after The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but An Earthly Child and Quinnis (even The Five Doctors, to an extent) made it clear that she had long since forgiven him and had come to terms with any ill feelings she might have once had. Consequently, it came as a pleasant surprise to me when Susan did light-heartedly upbraid her grandfather for locking her out of the TARDIS.
Like the two previous parts of this trilogy, Relative Dimensions also stands alone, but more so than the others, it benefits from diverse story elements from the previous two parts being pulled together, as the conclusion to any trilogy should do. The release of the TV movie earlier this week coupled with these three audio adventures have really put to in the mood to listen to further Eighth Doctor audio adventures, and this one in particular has put me in the mood for audio adventures featuring the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller.