THIS EPISODE TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
BIG FINISH AUDIO
DRAMAS "THE CHIMES
OF MIDNIGHT" AND
"SEASONS OF FEAR."
THE WORLD FACES
Italy wins the 1982
Can the fabled Time
Lady Charley save
the day, or will her
idiot assistant, the
Doctor, ruin IT ALL?
Like its Doctor Who Magazine predecessors, Living Legend is a lightweight romp without much depth. In fact, with a running time of around just twenty minutes, there is not as much substance to Scott Gray’s adventure as there was to either Last of the Titans or The Ratings War.
The premise is simple: two Threllips are ready to invade Earth and the Doctor and Charley, masquerading as Time Lord historians, plan to stop them by using nothing more than their wit and guile.
THE DOCTOR You know Charley, you make a far more convincing Time Lord than me.
CHARLEY Thank you Doctor.
THE DOCTOR That wasn’t a compliment.
There are some laughs to be had
as ‘Charleyostiantayshius’ bosses
about the apparently foolish Doctor,
but ultimately the story is not all that
funny. Very rarely, a Who comedy
can work – City of Death and Big
Finish’s own The One Doctor both
spring to mind as fine examples of
those that do - however, as a general
rule it just isn’t a good idea. Humour should be an integral part of every adventure, but unless it is pitched exactly right, ‘silly voice syndrome’ rears its ugly head and undermines the adventure. And the Threllips, I am afraid, are just another pair of forgettable ‘silly voice’ monsters.
That said, I did enjoy the story’s amusing climax. I’m a football fan and so I loved the Doctor’s ingenious strategy: advise the Threllips that a horrid plague, ‘World Cup Fever’, is spreading across the planet and that the only cure is alcohol. The Threllips get hammered and are thus unable to invade Earth – brilliant!
However, it’s a pity that this freebie doesn’t serve as a representative example of just how entertaining the eighth Doctor and Charley plays actually are; indeed, it may give potential new listeners the wrong impression entirely. Hopefully, the entertaining Making of Zagreus documentary that follows the episode on the CD will offset some of the damage – if people are still listening by that point, that is!
At the end of the day, Living Legend is a bite size diversion; a one-off episode that doesn’t pretend to be any more than it is. This is one solely for the completists.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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