CD#3.6 (ISBN 1-84435-


 AUGUST 2009.



 The Haven hangs in 

 space. A vast star

 city, devoid of life.

 Organic life, that is.

 From their spire,

 looking out over

 silent streets and

 empty plazas, the

 Assemblers are

 waiting for the day

 when the humans

 arrive. Waiting.

 Waiting. Waiting…

 When the TARDIS

 brings the Doctor

 and Lucie to the

 Haven, it seems THE

 Assemblers’ long

 wait might be over.


 Except – they’re

 headed for the

 lower levels.


 They don’t want

 to do that.


 That’s where the

 Cannibalists live.


 And if they catch

 them, they won’t

 be living beings

 much longer…


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT


The Cannibalists

16TH MAY 2009 - 23RD MAY 2009







Some stories I find it hard to take a firm view on, and The Cannibalists is certainly amongst their number. In fact, Jonathan Morris’s tale of cannibalistic robots is so unlike most of Big Finish’s Doctor Who output that it’s hard to weigh it against its peers on a like-for-like basis.


One thing that I can say for certain though is that The Cannibalists is nothing if not enjoyable. The script is based on such an inspired premise, and is laden with such profound wit and absurdity that the two episodes are sure to engage even those who are not usually willing to entertain stories that are pegged this far towards the extreme end of the series’ format.


The cast of this story is one of

the best that Big Finish have

assembled so far this season.

Phil Davis (Doctor Who: The

Fires of Pompeii, Ashes to

Ashes), for examples, gives

a stupendous performance as Titus, the Chief Cannibalist. You really have to give credit to

a man who is able to instil the spirit of Johnny Rotten in something that looks like a vacuum

cleaner! And Phill Jupitus (Never Mind the Buzzcocks) is perhaps even more memorable

as Servo, “the robot with poetry in his soul”. Crusty as silicon hell, this loveable machine-

code spouting rhymester really lends the whole play a little bit of much needed heart.


© Big Finish Productions 2009. No copyright infringement is intended.

“Observe the organic’s lack of facial fur growth… truncated height...

and observe the organic has unorthodox protrusions, here and here...

I think she’s human, even if she does have bits sticking out.”


For his part, Paul McGann gives a very cool, very considered performance as the Doctor, but once again its Sheridan Smith that truly steals the show. The Cannibalists sees Lucie and her two “unorthodox protrusions” well and truly out of their comfort zone (perhaps even more so than with Rosto in Sisters of the Flame, or on Orbis with the Keltans), lost in an utterly alien environment where the closest semblance of home turns out be a gang of killer hoovers that are obsessed with women’s “sticky-out bits”! Absolute gold.


Less impressively, I was able to foresee just about every plot development across the two episodes (the story’s resolution was particularly unsurprising), though at the end of the day this didnt bother me all that much given just how much fun The Cannibalists is.


And so whilst this “death metal” two-parter defies comparison with the season’s first five stories, I think it’s fair to say that there is plenty here to entertain even the most unyielding

of listeners, and those with a particular fondness for Lucie Miller (or indeed for anarchic vacuum cleaners) are sure to be impressed.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2009


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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