Doctor Who Audio Review: A Few More Adventures With Charley Pollard

Charlotte Pollard: The Further Adventuress is a Doctor Who audio boxset from Big Finish Productions. Paul McGann and India Fisher are reunited to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the introduction between these characters. There are four episodes that have been directed by Ken Bentley.

Alan Barnes begins this set with The Mummy Speaks! which takes place in 1841 Paris. The Doctor and Charley Pollard attend the Carnaval de Paris and encounter a 4000-year-old mummy that speaks and participates in breaking into houses. This actually turns out to be one of the more comedic episodes. It’s a solid start to the set. McGann and Fisher demonstrate that the chemistry that charmed the fans in the early days of Big Finish is still as formidable as ever.

Lisa McMullin continues the ride with Eclipse. On a planet called Pteron, the Doctor and Charley encounter a swarm of moths that go on the attack. They learn that the Hellstrung may have a legitimate grievance against the settlers. This episode was actually quite interesting because of some interesting revelations as to what drives these creatures. There is an effectively disturbing transformation that was well presented in audio form.

Eddie Robson follows up with The Slaying of the Writhing Mass which has the Doctor and Charley getting caught up with a group of time tourists who are trying to witness an event in which a legendary cosmic entity is destroyed. They find that not everything presented in the telling is quite right. This one was a little hard to follow at times. It’s not bad, but I would probably consider this one the least enjoyable in this collection.

Finally, Nicholas Briggs returns to pen the script for Heart of Orion, which is a follow-up to another audio play entitled Sword of Orion. The Doctor and Charley learn the fate of an android ally after they respond to a distress call which brings them back to the Garazone System. They find that many people have gone missing, and their old friend may have something to do with it. This one was a strong finish to the set, which is consistent with Briggs’ accomplishments. The earlier story had the Cybermen, which Briggs chose to avoid in this one. I like the Cybermen, but I felt that Briggs made the right call on not having them involved again.

For Big Finish fans, this hits the right notes of nostalgia. India Fisher still puts in a compelling performance. Paul McGann delivers as well. There are no masterpieces in this set, but it still is quite enjoyable, largely because of the reunion between McGann and Fisher. I wouldn’t mind revisiting this particular TARDIS team further.

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