Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Review: Eighth Doctor Audio - Orbis

With a new year we start a new season of the New Eighth Doctor Audios. Paul Mcgann returns for a third season alongside Sheridan Smith in Orbis...

The Doctor has fallen to his death. His companion, Lucie Miller, has returned to her life on Earth, grief-stricken. Then, one night, an alien visitor arrives at her front door and shoots her.

Could it be that Lucie’s days with the Doctor are not over? She will only find the answer on the planet Orbis. A planet where all forms of life are facing violent extinction.
So What's Right With It? - After what was a pretty weak finale to the second series, series three of the New EDAs kicks off with what might just be the strongest in the run to date. The plot of this audio is absolutely outstanding and brought to life brilliantly. The planet is brilliantly realised with lots of new creatures and aliens thrown into the mix, all a bit odd but all greatly described and presented. Smith and Mcgann play so well off each other and the dialogue between the two has hit a really steady groove with some brilliant one liners and funny bits. The ending of the story isn't at all what you would expect. The story takes a bit of a dark turn which is a bit of a gamble given the rest of the story, but the gamble pays off and it's a brilliant conclusion. The Headhunter returns in what is one of her best outings yet, stepping up her campy evil a couple of notches and keeping the character from going stale and the rest of the guest cast performs really well, too. Unlike a lot of the second series, and much of the first, this story isn't too wrapped in canon and continuity, which makes it easy to jump in to if you have perhaps missed previous stories and would also make a good jumping on point if you are new to the audios.

But What's Wrong With It? - Not a lot really. The biggest downside for me is that with Smith and Mcgann playing so well together, their interaction here is minimal and I think they really missed a trick there. They are obviously able to hold your attention seperately but their chemistry just sparks when they get to play off each other, so they could have used that more to the stories advantage.

Final Verdict - A near pefect season opener and a brilliant return for Eight and Lucie.

Orbis get's 5/5 TARDIS's

Extra Info: 60 minutes long (or 2 x 30 minutes depending on the version you purchased) on one disc with interviews and a Q&A as bonus features. Amazon have it for £9.89 which is pricier than most, but it's worth every penny.

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