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Whoblogging 8

I confess I hadn't really heard of Paul McGann before he got the part of the revived Doctor; and I haven't seen a lot of him since, either. The broadcast of the 1996 TV movie completely passed me by at the time. My introduction to the Eighth Doctor came via the downloadable Lance Parkin novel, The Dying Days, and a couple of the other books which I managed to pick up here and there; but I wasn't hugely impressed. Likewise the TV movie when I finally saw it: fun, but not overwhelming.

I became an Eight fan (as far as I am one) through the Big Finish audio plays. (To refresh your memories: Four, Five, Nine and Ten were the ones I particularly encountered on first broadcast; One, Two and Six through watching their TV stories years later; Three through the novelisations; Seven through the spinoff novels; and Eight through the audios.)

Big Finish began the audio adventures of the Eighth Doctor by introducing him to rebel rich girl Charlotte "Charley" Pollard on the R101 just before it crashed, in what is still I think the best of his plays, Storm Warning; my second favourite is from the end of the run with Eight and Charley dealing with the consequent damage to the time stream, Zagreus (which also features Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, the voice of Jon Pertwee and a host of others starting from Anneke Wills). I have to say that the quality is not constant; I see that of the seven Big Finish plays I have rated with two stars or less, five are Eighth Doctor stories.

But this is generally not the fault of McGann, who has constructed a heroic personality with a deep affection (indeed, love) for his companions, along with a liking for tea and a sense of a dark background, and dark places in his own character. I realised writing this that I have only a few more of the Big Finish main sequence Eighth Doctor plays to go; then I'll have to switch to the BBC8 plays with Sheridan Smith as Lucie. I must say that Charley is my favourite single audio companion (though Peri and Erimem together beat her).

Weird that although the Eighth Doctor has the shortest canonical screen-time of any Doctor, he must also have the most spinoff material of any - not just the fifty or so audio plays, but the 73 Eighth Doctor Adventure (plus The Dying Days, plus the book-of-the-TV-movie), and also years of comics. It will be a while before I get around to them all.
Whoblogging index: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
jaime_sama
Dec. 23rd, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
Here from who_daily.

When you do get around to the EDAs, don't miss Fear Itself, just because it is not officially part of the series. It was published as a PDA ("Past Doctor Adventure.") It is a terrific book.

(I started at the other end, with the books, and will sooner or later get around to the audios...)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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