The first appearance of the Eighth Doctor was in 1996 in a TV movie designed to be the pilot for a new TV show. The series wasn’t picked up, though, so by that measure, the Eighth Doctor might be considered to be the least successful of Doctors. In 2001, though, the Eighth Doctor began appearing in a series of audio adventures from Big Finish which continue to this day with no end in sight, so by that measure the Eighth Doctor might be considered to be among the most successful of Doctors. Paul McGann would eventually be featured in more than 30 adventures in Big Finish’s “main range” of Doctor Who audios, but in January 2007 he was awarded his own series of “Eighth Doctor Adventures” released in four “seasons” co-starring Sheridan Smith as new companion Lucie Miller.
I’m going to skip over the early audio adventures in the main range for now and concentrate on “The Eighth Doctor Adventures” beginning with season one. This may be an overly ambitious objective, but it is my intention to cover every episode of all four seasons (as listed below). At that point, I will either go back to the beginning, or continue on with the series “Dark Eyes” and “Doom Coalition”. As with my discussion of Dark Shadows audios, I will maintain an index in this initial post.
1.1 Blood of the Daleks, Pt. 1 - p1
1.2 Blood of the Daleks, Pt. 2 - p1
1.3 Horror of Glam Rock - p2
1.4 Immortal Beloved - p2
1.5 Phobos - p2
1.6 No More Lies - p3
1.7 Human Resources, Pt. 1 - p3
1.8 Human Resources, Pt. 2 - p3
2.1 Dead London - p3
2.2 Max Warp - p4
2.3 Brave New Town - p4
2.4 The Skull of Sobek - p4
2.5 Grand Theft Cosmos - p5
2.6 The Zygon Who Fell to Earth - p5
2.7 Sisters of the Flame - p5
2.8 Vengeance of Morbius - p5
3.1 Orbis - p5
3.2 Hothouse - p5
3.3 The Beast of Orlok - p6
3.4 Wirrn Dawn - p6
3.5 The Scapegoat - p6
3.6 The Cannibalists - p6
3.7 The Eight Truths - p7
3.8 Worldwide Web - p7
An Earthly Child - p7
4.1 Death in Blackpool - p7
4.2 Situation Vacant - p7
4.3 Nevermore - p8
4.4 The Book of Kells - p8
4.5 Deimos - p8
4.6 The Resurrection of Mars - p9
4.7 Relative Dimensions - p9
4.8 Prisoner of the Sun - p10
4.9 Lucie Miller - p10
4.10 To the Death - p10
Interesting. The only two Eighth Doctor audio stories I have are "Time of the Daleks" and "Shada".
BLOOD OF THE DALEKS (Pt. 1):
This adventure begins rather abruptly as Lucie Miller, a no-nonsense 19 year-old from Blackpool suddenly materializes in the TARDIS. Coincidentally, Lucie appeared on radio in much the same way Donna Noble did on TV, and right around the same time (2006). Donna first appeared in the 2006 Christmas special, and although this CD was released in February 2007, it had been broadcast on BBC7 prior to that (part one on December 31). I’m not saying one was derivative of the other, only that Lucie appeared in the Eighth Doctor’s TARDIS right around the same time Donna appeared in the Tenth’s. As we will come to find out, Lucie has been foisted upon the Doctor against her will (or his) by the Timelords in some sort of cosmic “witness protection” program. Apparently, she has seen something she wasn’t supposed to have seen, but even she is not sure what.
Apparently, Lucie Miller is the first companion ever to have been written first, then cast. Most of the Doctor’s companions tend to come from London or thereabouts (even his alien companions, if you know what I mean). For variety’s sake, it was decided in advance that Lucie would be from North England, and the casting call when out to Northern actresses. Sheridan Smith doesn’t really have to put on an accent or anything like that; she just basically plays the role pretty much as herself.
Before the Doctor and Lucie can even become properly acquainted, the TARDIS materializes on the planet Red Rocket Rising. Red Rocket Rising orbits a binary star, not that it makes much difference because the entire planet is covered by a gigantic dust cloud from an asteroid which impacted the other side of the planet some time before the story opens. The far side of the planet was pretty much destroyed, and things are not much better on the side the Doctor and Lucie landed on. No sunshine penetrates the cloud cover, so no plants can grow; the surface is often pelted with stinging acid rain; much of the population has been evacuated (mostly businessmen and politicians, supposedly by lottery), so the tension is high.
The one politician left is a senator, Eileen Klint (Hilary Clinton?). She volunteered to be left behind to provide what help she could. Because she is the highest ranking official left on the planet, she is the de facto leader. Klint’s chief rival is disgraced scientist Asha Gryvern. Asha had been the assistant to Professor Martez, now dead, whose controversial experiments were a combination of Dr. Frankenstein’s and stem cell research. He at first harvested material from the recently deceased, then from the still living. From technology salvaged from a crashed Dalek ship, Martez created his own race of Daleks. Eventually we learn that Professor Martez has transplanted his mind into Asha Gryvern’s body.
Luckily, Klint has secured the assistance of a kind and benevolent race called the Daleks. She knows only that the Daleks were subjected to radiation in a past war and are now so horribly mutated they must remain in their protective casings. She believes they are more to be pitied than feared. As soon as they arrive, they demand that Klint, as their ally, must turn over the Doctor “for exe… for trial.” She is reluctant to agree without a hearing, especially if the Doctor is to be killed. Then Asha/Martez orders his Daleks to open fire on the Doctor.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Interesting. The old "we are your friends" bit.
Tracy and have been meaning to co-host a discussion for some time now. In 2008 we came close to doing a "Stangers in Paradise" discussion together, but we couldn't work out the logistics, then we both got busy with other things. But now it looks as if it's finally going to happen!
We listened to some really good Eighth Doctor and Charley adventures together on our recent road trip. We both really like Charley, and we both really like Lucie, too.
BLOOD OF THE DALEKS, (PT. 2):
The “Doctor” Martez’s Daleks fired upon was a hologram. We learned in part one that the people of Red Rocket Rising knew in advance of the asteroid, but it was predicted to miss the planet by a wide margin. When Martez contacted the Daleks, they diverted the asteroid to hit the planet in order to keep “the blood of the Daleks” pure. Not only that, but they also destroyed all of the exodus ships. The original Daleks consider Martez’s group to be impure, but Martez’s group consider themselves to be superior. (The working title of part one had been “Red Rocket rising” and part two “Dirty Gene”-something.)
The Doctor allies himself temporarily with the true Daleks in order to destroy the “neo-Daleks” then works with Tom Cardwell (mentioned by Tracy above) to destroy both groups. When Lucie gets her first look at a Dalek inside its exoskeleton, she remarks, “It looks like someone threw up a squid dinner.” Martez’s body is breaking down, and eventually both groups of Daleks kill each other.
Lucie decides to stay on Red Rocket Rising, but after four hours gets bored and returns to the TARDIS to find the Doctor apparently still waiting for her. In point of fact, he had attempted to leave four times, but the Timelords forced the TARDIS to return each time. (In part one, they had placed some sort of barrier over 2006 North England to prevent the Doctor from returning Lucie to her proper time and place.) The Doctor and Lucie are off to a somewhat rocky start, but there are hints that the Timelords may also have suppressed part of Lucie’s memories. Lucie may or may not even be aware of this, but it may contribute to her irritability nonetheless.
Red Rocket Rising is going to be okay, too, as Klint broadcasts that she has accepted help from another race of saviors. She is able to say that the race comes from the planet “Tel—“ before her signal is cut off.
FORESHADOWING: A woman known as the “Headhunter” accepts a contract from “Mr. Hulbert” to find Lucie Miller anywhere in space and time.
NEXT: “Horror of Glam Rock”
"Telos", I suppose.
The Baron said:
"Telos", I suppose.
You may go to the head of the class. What? You're already at the head of the class? All right. Stay right where you are.
It's not over yet. (It's a set-up for the two-part "Human Resources" season finale.)