lost_spook: (Charley)
[personal profile] lost_spook
There are spoilers for these Big Finish audios below the cut, but it occurred to me I never got round to posting my reaction.

To be honest, I'm ambivalent about these three. On the one hand, they were all individually excellent audios I'd recommend to anyone. (On a stand-alone basis, I think Paper Cuts probably has the edge, but the other two are pretty good as well).

Taken together, this is what troubles me (and not, I hasten to add, that I didn't thoroughly enjoy listening to every minute of them, but I am left with odd questions):

1. Why is there such a weird attitude to the passage of time? I know Six has gaps, but the Doctor's age doesn't alter much between Six and Seven and the unneccessary 'years' in Patient Zero strike me as really odd, (and it's not surprising the Doctor backtracks about it almost immediately). I'll assume that was Six exaggerating as usual. Charley's cryogenic storage through millennia in the last is more of a necessity, so I'll forgive that, but the amount of time the Doctor then spends with Mila (so we hear) is another oddity, which brings me to:

2. Why doesn't the Doctor know Mila isn't Charley? I know it's a weird set up anyway, but with him just being mildly suspicious of 'Charlotte', that was okay - he didn't know what her story was, but he was waiting for her to tell him. That's much like Five with Turlough. No problems. However, in both Patient Zero and Paper Cuts the listener is given definite hints that the Doctor does know he has an imposter on board (and he's the Doctor; he should know! He shouldn't also take years getting to the right planet to cure Charley, either) but BFP makes it plain he had no idea. (The opening scene of Paper Cuts seems designed to solely to give the game away to him... and yet, he doesn't know. Also, he seems suspicious of the faux-Charley in Patient Zero, too.) So that bothered me. If they hadn't put the hints that he did know, it wouldn't have mattered as much.

3. Charley. These are her last three trips and we get very little of her. Admittedly, India playing Charley-but-not-Charley is something she's getting very good at, but there were some reminders of the real Charley's typical comments in Paper Cuts (written before Marc Platt knew she was actually Mila??) made me sad. I wanted more Charley, not less, before she bowed out.

4. The ending. It was clever and it worked for the Doctor and for Mila, but... erm... that was no better than The Girl Who Never Was for poor Charley. What was the point? (Plus, I must re-listen to 'Girl'. I'm sure at the end of that Charley was worried the Doctor 'must' be dead - through this run she seems to have become increasingly sure she saw him die. Am I getting muddled or is this another inconsistency? I probably had better relisten!) You see, this was my other problem - it seems that BF is getting into worryingly New Who territory by suggesting that CHarley would only ever leave the Doctor if he were dead and I don't think that's a positive light on her character, or necessarily true. Although, to be fair, it might be.

So I am ambivalent. It was nice to have extra Charley; the adventures were good but it was one of those frustrating arcs where the set-up eventually prevented us getting the best out of the characters.

That being said, I did enjoy all of them. It may not sound like it, but they were three excellent stories. And Mila was a very interesting character - especially if she witnessed everything from the Chase to Trial hidden on board the TARDIS. Let's face it, I wanted the magic combination of India and Paul back and that was never going to happen! (Five minutes, anything, just some sort of actual resolution for both Eight and Charley, please, Big Finish. I'm not talking shippiness or anything silly, just not both of them wandering around believing untrue things of the other, thank you.

Having said that: I really enjoyed Patient Zero - interesting ideas, lots of fun; Paper Cuts was excellent. (Can someone get Marc Platt to do an actual epsiode for the TV again, please?) Atmospheric, creepy, lovely ideas, nice use of TV aliens... Yes. Blue Forgotten Planet was interesting but had a lot to carry on around the main storyline - best moment: welcome back to the real Charlotte Pollard. :-D


Before I got distracted by the arrival of these three audios, I started listening to Blood of the Daleks. I know they made this way before Girl Who Never Was, but Eight's OOC bad temper seemed to follow on amusingly well. I'm enjoying it so far and like Lucie very much. I'm only raising an eyebrow slightly at Big Finish here, because the first five minutes - well, did you say Lucie was Northern? We have a NORTHERN companion? Should we put in some NORTHERN cliches? How many do you think we can get in five minutes? (Quite a lot). And given that they already had Hex, I'm not sure what all that was about.


Date: 28 Feb 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
ext_3965: (6 with umbrella and TARDIS)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
Paper Cuts was brilliant! I really enjoyed it...

Charley *is* convinced she saw Eight die at the end of "Girl"...

The Viyrans are fascinating aliens.

Date: 28 Feb 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
ext_3965: (Eight Console)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
Oh I didn't doubt you'd enjoyed them!

Yeah it is kind of confusing the way "Girl" ends...

Nick Briggs had a good idea, the day he created them. (They first showed up in a New Who comic, you know...)

Paul and India are MUCH easier on the ears! :D

Date: 28 Feb 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghost2.livejournal.com
I still haven't listened to The Girl Who Never Was. For a while, I thought it was the last time we would ever hear Charley. Then, when I found out it wasn't, it still struck me as being sadder than I prefer. I know what happened in it, and I've listened to the other audios you reviewed. They were good, but yeah, MORE CHARLEY needed. She was great with both Six and Eight.

I love Charley. She is right up there on my list of favorite companions, and India Fisher was the person I was most excited to meet at Chicago TARDIS. I went to her panels, and many people in the audience wanted more Charley audios.

I have yet to warm up to Lucie. She just strikes me as being overly brash and rude, and I don't like that type IRL. Of course, I've only listened to a few of her audios so far.

Date: 1 Mar 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
ext_8719: (Default)
From: [identity profile] st-aurafina.livejournal.com
Paper Cuts was a great story - but you're right, it did feel adapted to the current plot situation. But still a great story, with the paper warriors and the tombs and the Draconian back history.

I understand what you mean, though - I liked that run of audios very much, but they were, ultimately, a little unsatisfying. I really wanted a good, solid confrontation between Charley and Six, and we didn't really get that. Just dribs and drabs. I was certain that he knew all along that Charley was from his personal future. But then, with Mila, surely if he knew that she had stolen Charley's identity, he would have acted. I find it very hard to swallow him not recognising Charley as a time traveler.

A Charley/Eight resolution would have been awesome, too. *sighs*


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