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Big Finish Latest

The latest Companion Chronicle, Shadow of the Past, has Liz Shaw, reprised by Caroline John, tracking down the remains of one of her UNIT adventures in a hidden vault somewhere under London. I saw the punchline about the true identity of her interlocutor coming from some distance, but it is an enjoyable ride.

The latest in the Big Finish main sequence of stories has the Sixth Doctor encountering Jamie in a strangely altered Scotland; the City of Spires of the title is none other than Grangemouth, turned into what appears to be an oil-producing metropolis in the eighteenth century. Or is it the ninteenth? And is it really. oil? And why doesn't Jamie even remember his meeting with the Doctor in 1745? None of these questions is actually answered, which I think is a new twist in Big Finish's generally successful shift to producing mini-seasons of each Doctor. A special shout-out to Georgia Moffett who plays a terribly posh but very confused young woman.

The latest "lost" story, Paradise 5, was originally writter by P.J. Hammond for the slot that eventually became Terror of the Vervoids on screen. It is a real shame that it was dropped, for whatever reason. It has its problems - the rather odd way that the Doctor's companion (originally Mel, but now Peri) is slipped into the resort satellite Paradise 5 to look for yet another old friend of the Doctor's who we had never heard of before and will certainly never meet again; the huge resemblance of the story to Sapphire and Steel rather than to Doctor Who; but despite this is is compelling listening, with weird resonances as Gabriel and Michael, the guardians of Paradise, work out the tricky relationship between the Cherubim and Elohim - a set-up which in other hands could easily have been tacky but from Hammond, as reinterpreted by Andy Lane who is one of the best writers in the Big Finish stable, is totally compelling. One of the better stories in this sequence, even if the joins are fairly visible.

So, unusually, I think I recommend all three of these, for different reasons.

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