Saturday 10 July 2010

Doctor Who: Blue Forgotten Planet

Blue Forgotten Planet begins with the filming of a charity appeal to help the people of planet Earth, presumably something to do with the gigantic crater discovered by the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and someone he thinks is Charley Pollard (India Fisher) upon their arrival.

In an echo of The Ice Warriors, as humanity clings to survival it splits into two factions, those who cling to civilisation, and those who go back to basics. Here it’s foresters on the outside, grubbing for food, led by Driscoll. In this case, though, the return to nature is not a matter of choice.

There aren’t enough meds to go around, and when people don’t take their meds they get angry… They suffer from the Magnus, which robs them of their memories, leaving only their worst emotions. On the inside, a privileged few led by David McAllister receive medical supplies – from the Viyrans, played by Michael Maloney, after they stole his voice from Fratalin during their brief appearance in an earlier story, Patient Zero.

Meanwhile, the real Charley, having spent a very, very long time in a spaceship that looks “a cathedral built by a plumber”, completing missions in return for help, is on the trail of the Doctor and her doppelganger.

After a pair of claustrophobic stories for this Tardis team, the wide open sky of Blue Forgotten Planet contributes to an epic feel, appropriate for what proves to be the final story of one of the Doctor’s longest-running companions. The Sixth Doctor could have done with a story this well-crafted on television. Listen right to the end!

Doctor Who: Blue Forgotten Planet, Nicholas Briggs, starring Colin Baker, Big Finish, 2xCD, 2hrs26.

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