The Companion Chronicles have grown up over the last few years. At their humble beginnings, they were old companions doing impressions of the Doctor that they were teamed up with (specifically Doctors 1 to 4). As the range has proved so successful and popular, the bar has been raised so that any of the Doctorâ€™s companions can now be involved. And the more this world has grown the bigger and better the stories have become.
Which brings us nicely onto this monthâ€™s Companion Chronicle offering from Big Finish entitled Solitaire. Itâ€™s a two hander between the Eighth Doctorâ€™s former travelling companion Charley Pollard and The Celestial Toymaker.
This reviewer will not hide away from the fact that he never â€œclickedâ€ with Charley, finding that her upper class whinnying gave the Eighth Doctor airs and graces himself when he needed to be more grounded (which he later got with Lucy Millar). However, this is a fantastic performance by actress India Fisher who, when placed on her own, proves herself worthy of TARDIS travels. She comes across as intelligent, strong-minded and resourceful which is exactly what the Doctor looks for in a friend.
David Ballie returns for another audio outing as the Toymaker (his last was The Nightmare Fair with Colin Baker) and heâ€™s equally brilliant as the sinister and elusive villain of the piece.
The plot itself revolves around Charley trying to escape from one of the Toymakerâ€™s games whilst also trying to help the Doctor. And where is our favourite Time Lord? Nothing will be spoiled for you in this review but letâ€™s just say that India Fisher voices the Doctor without having to do an impression of Paul McGann (who is one of the hardest Doctorâ€™s to impersonate).
Solitaire is recommended listening, a solid play with a simple plot that encircles the listener and rewards them with varying twists and turns. If you havenâ€™t listened to the series before, start here.
Solitaire is available on CD and download at www.bigfinish.com.