Already August and Alan Barnes gives us the return of India Fisher in Enemy Aliens. This is an Eighth Doctor and Charley story in the Destiny of the Doctor range also featuring Michael Maloney as Hilary. It’s been a long time since Ms Fisher rock and rolled with the Eighth Doctor – how was her return?
Given that Mr Barnes brought us Charley originally we had to be optimistic – was this well founded?
Let’s start with the product page synopsis:
1935: a message from a Time Lord in trouble sends the Eighth Doctor and Charlotte ‘Charley’ Pollard to the streets of London’s West End, in search of a mysterious alien adversary – unaware that something monstrous is already on their trail.
They soon discover that an insidious conspiracy is indeed at work, its tentacles extending the length of the British Isles. Proving its existence won’t be easy, however, after a confrontation in a music hall ends up with the Doctor under arrest and Charley on the run, suspected of murder. All their hopes rest in a musical clue and a man named Hilary – neither of which are much consolation, with the two time travellers the object of a nationwide manhunt.
And all the while, the enemy aliens are drawing closer and closer still…
The story starts in the TARDIS with Charley hoping to catch her breath between adventures. Sadly this is not to be as they receive a garbled message from the Eleventh Doctor that sends them to London in pursuit of William Tell and a warning about enemy aliens!
We are then treated to a 39 Steps homage as Charley flits to Scotand, toys with getting married (and more than once) before pulling us back to London for a face-off with a massive alien space-ship! Much of the action takes place on a train which means I can also add this to the list of train stories in The Great Big Finish Train Mystery!
This was a delight to listen to – I enjoyed listening to India Fisher as Charley once more and this despite not being one of those particularly desperate to have her return to the fold. My first serious consumption of Big Finish was all the Charley stories up to Zagreus, the departure story and the Sixth Doctor stories all close together. Such saturation coverage has left me feeling that I have heard enough though I am prepared to concede I may be wrong having listened to this.
I would be interested to know where this story fits into the timeline. To me it felt like it was fairly early proceedings – by this I mean pre-Zagreus.
We also had a new twist on the Eleventh Doctor with the future problem apparently getting resolved in this story and two ersatz appearances of India as Matt Smith.
Yet again I enjoyed the Destiny of the Doctor and look forward to September