by Marc Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Marc Platt delivers a fun Christmas story that sheds a bit of new light on the Doctor's character and throws another unexpected twist into the ongoing 8th Doctor storyline.
The plot is pretty simple: The Doctor wants to show Lucie Miller a good time for Christmas, and so he invites his grand daughter Susan and great-grandson Alex, and attempts to have a nice family Christmas in the TARDIS. And things, mostly things involving alien fish, go horribly wrong. And Alex and Lucie mostly get the job of setting things right.
What makes this story more than just an ordinary Christmas romp is its exploration of the Doctor's relationship to Alex. The TV series was always a bit coy about whether the Doctor and Susan were really genetically related, but in this audio it becomes clear that the Doctor certainly expects Alex to have Gallifreyan DNA, and has a lot of hopes for Alex - including the hope that Alex will one day inherit the TARDIS (and perhaps carry on the Doctor's work). It's rather novel to see the Doctor worrying about his legacy in this way. It's also interesting that Jake's presumed Gallifreyan traits have so far failed to manifest.
I was also quite surprised to see Lucie decide to go off traveling with Alex at the end of this story. Having failed to forsee her return in Deimos
, I now failed to anticipate that she'd leave again so soon. Trailers for upcoming stories seem to indicate that Lucie will continue to play a pivotal role in the rest of the season, but not quite in the usual companion mold. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of this season of stories plays out.
Jake McGann as Alex gets to broaden his acting range a little here. While his performances in previous audios mostly involved varying degrees of adolescent petulance, he gets to branch out into other emotions here. Unfortunately, while he is getting stronger as an actor, I think he's still very obviously the weakest of the four performers here - every so often he delivers a line reading that's noticeably flat. I think we're going to be seeing more of him this season, so I hope he's a fast learner. View all my reviews