Doctor Who: Paper Cuts by Marc Platt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This review doesn't contain spoilers for Paper Cuts itself, but it has major spoilers for the preceding audio Patient Zero
Taken purely on its own merits, Paper Cuts is a wonderful little story - it's got the return of the Draconians, some nice political intrigue, and some lovely imagery - the tombs of the dead Draconian emperors, floating in space; paper screens that respond to psychic impulses by displaying the memories of those nearby; and silent deadly warriors made of animated folded paper.
Taken in context, however, Paper Cuts has a bit of a problem. It comes just after Patient Zero, a story which saw Charley Pollard infected with a Dalek virus, in the custody of the mysterious Viyrans, and separated from the Doctor, who doesn't know that she's gone because her form and personality have been copied by Mila, who appears to be some kind of escaped Dalek experiment. And it comes just before Blue Forgotten Planet, which we've all been led to believe will be Charley Pollard's last story. Paper Cuts just doesn't do much to advance the ongoing storyline. For most of the play, it just doesn't seem to make much difference that Charley is actually Mila. There is a very nice scene at the end where Mila fends off a Draconian who seems set to join the TARDIS crew - Mila's clearly determined to have the Doctor for herself. And there are a few other moments when Mila's trickery is alluded to. But for the most part, this story could have fit anywhere in the Doctor and Charley's ongoing adventures, and it seems like a bit of a waste to put it here, so close to the end of it all.
In the long run, though, I suspect that Paper Cuts will be a play that I'll be able to return to and listen to again with pleasure, even if at this precise moment, it mostly leaves me impatient to get on with Blue Forgotten Planet.
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