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Published on April 14th, 2007 | by Brian A Terranova

Phobos

Every show on television has at one time or another pulled ideas and themes from other shows, usually with terrible results and drawing ire from a large portion of the fan base, who pick the plot apart.

But every once in awhile there are programmes that get it right, and Phobos falls into that category.

The comparisons that you can draw to Scooby Doo cartoons actually work in the plays favor, with the old theme park monsters that are of course not monsters at all being used in a way that are unusual for Doctor Who, where more often the monsters are well, monsters.

The rest of the story is excellent as well, really using the settings and characters to their full advantage, and the story has some twists and turns as well, although you can see around a few of the corners before you get to them. It is a well realized setting, with the adrenaline seekers and the visitors to the moon really making the audio come alive, even without any visuals to speak of.

As has been the case so far in the new audio series, both Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith do a good job with their respective characters, and McGann really gets a chance to shine at the story’s conclusion, as well as it seems a little ret conning leaning towards the ninth Doctor’s darker and doom laden persona in the new televised series. We may not get a regeneration come series end, but we sure get a healthy dose of some of the styles that more easily bridge the gap between the two.

If there are downsides, it is the lightly touched on racial/forbidden love subplots of the play, both between a mixed alien couple and a gay crush, which would be fine and probably a nice touch as well if they were not pushed into the background of the narrative.

As they are, they just seem to ‘be there’ and really don’t do much for the story or their respective causes.

I also find it hard to fathom that Kai, the creator of all the deceit and death gets to go free unpunished, despite the tremendous losses he suffers throughout, it just does not seem enough for what he has done.

The only other complaint is that besides the first two complete stories of the series the BBC seven Big Finish audio series seems way better in quality then most of the televised new series episodes from last spring, which although its nice to see great plots and characters in some part of the Doctor Who universe, it’s a shame it could not also be on out television screens.

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About the Author

Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.




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