Orbis – Part Two

With the inhabitants of the Doctor’s new adopted home, the planet Orbis, being driven off of their home world by an evil force and a natural disaster – that may not be so natural – the race to save the world beings in part two.

Now on the scene is the Head Hunter, seemingly pulling the strings behind this hostile take over, but is there more to her story then the ever present attack?

Lucie meanwhile, is stuck with the task of trying to get the Doctor to remember her and get them off the planet before things go south. True to form, however, the Doctor is not ready to go, not until he saves the Orbis people and his home, something he is prepared to do even if it means Lucie’s life.

Which is where things get really interesting, as I pointed out in the Orbis Part One review, the Doctor is about 600 years older than when we last saw him in Vengeance of Morbius. This, as you can imagine, would take it’s toll on the memory. The Doctor has forgotten Lucie – and while he does snap back to reality the ramifications of his lost memories can be felt.

The relationship between the Doctor and Luice is certainly affected by the time and memory gap and this is where things get interesting. Rather than let the characters slip into comfortable roles the Big Finish team have given them some interesting material to play off of and this is handled extremely well by both leads.

Lucie has to resort to drastic measures to get the Doctor to remember his life with her and this gives us a good idea of what she is capable of. Sheridan gets to play out a moment that no other companion can ever claim to and to be honest I am not sure that anyone else could have pulled this off.

Paul McGann also gets a chance to show a new side to his Doctor. No longer the happy traveler who can’t remain in one place for too long, he seems as if he has found his final destination in life. All of this is shattered when he realizes that he must do what it takes to save the day, once again, and in the end he may not be able to continue his nice peaceful life with the people he has spent the last 600 years with. You can imagine the affect this would have on him as he beginnings his travels again. Homeless. Alone, aside from a human he hardly remembers. One can only imagine how this will affect the rest of the series.

Speaking of the 600 year long exile the Doctor had on the planet Orbis – am I back here again? – keep an ear out for the great explanation as to why we get different ages from all ages mentioned it the TV continuity. Wonderful job there guys!

You really get a TV series feeling to the Doctor and Lucie adventures as we are getting weekly Who – but there is more to it than that. Ever since their first series the stories have taken on a modern TV series style – mostly one hour stories with a few two parters, seasons with linking themes and characters, some of carrying over to the next season. Big Finish’s Eighth Doctor Adventures Season Three is different in only one respect; we get all half hour episodes.

This will of course bring with it a great fan debate over which is better – twenty-four minutes, one hour, two hours, movie format etc – but what’s more important than where you stop a story for a cliffhanger? The story itself. Orbis did a fantastic job of clear up last season’s cliffhanger and setting up this season’s arc, all the while never letting those “needs” get in the way of telling a good story. That’s a lot of work for a two part one hour adventure, but when a job is done well it really stands out.


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