THIS EPISODE TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
BIG FINISH / BBC7
AND "NO MORE LIES."
BIG FINISH BBC7 CD#5
RELEASED IN MAY 2007.
The TARDIS lands
on Phobos, moon of
Mars, where extreme
sports nuts of the
future indulge their
passionS. But there's
something lurking in
the shadows; old and
It's not for nothing
that 'Phobos' is the
ancient word for
28TH JANUARY 2007
Eddie Robson’s delightful debut script Memory Lane was the last that we heard from the eighth Doctor prior to his materialisation on BBC7. But now, halfway through this new series, Robson returns to the fold to contribute a similarly sharp and fast-paced piece
of radio drama. This fifty-minuter sees the Doctor and Lucie arrive on the eponymous moon of Phobos in the 26th century, where adrenaline junkies gravity-board and wormhole-jump whilst the apparently-mad Kai Tobias tells all who will listen of the monsters that are coming.
For a one-off episode, there is
certainly a lot going on here. Not
only do we have Tobias trying to
convince all and sundry that the
monsters are real; but we also
have the remarkable couple of
Amy and Farl, or (“Polly Pocket
and Hagrid” as Lucie wryly re-
christens them; two homosexual
extreme sport enthusiasts; and, of course, Katarina Olsson’s mysterious Headhunter, who features much more prominently here than she has done previously.
I wasn’t all that interested by the adrenaline junkies, although it did allow Robson to draw some stimulating parallels with how the Doctor lives the lives that he does. Is saving people his rush? “Polly Pocket” and “Hagrid” are also both fascinating characters, particularly the latter, but it is the veteran team of Timothy West and Nerys Hughes (Kinda) that steal the show as Tobias and Eris. And Robson’s plot is anything but predictable - there are at least two major twists surrounding Tobias that I really didn’t see coming.
“Maybe you’re scarier than the monsters.”
Listening to Phobos though, I was most interested by what impact these events had on both the Doctor and Lucie. Lucie is presented as being particularly uneasy after stumbling upon certain salient facts about the Doctor – most notably that he has watched entire races die, and also that he harbours fears deep within himself that are so terrifying they can make an alien “God” of fear simply curl up and die. Whether this is because such things disturb her,
or simply because they mean that she’ll have to start looking at the Doctor as being more than just her “driver”, I’m still not sure.
In all then, Phobos is an exciting addition to the series. Again Robson’s script is littered with a plethora of contemporary references, providing it with a real edge that really makes it feel closer to the new series than it does to the classic – a trait that is fast becoming the hallmark of this invigorating interim series.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007
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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