Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Charley takes a turn for the worst - Patient Zero

This is one I’ve been building towards the entire time. It was part of my decision to go with Charley instead of Evelyn. Way back when I first started with Big Finish, one of the earliest serials I listened to was Five and Peri in Mission of the Viyrans. It stood out from all those from that drive by being really out there, and I really wanted to listen to the sequel. That made the decision to start on the Eighth Doctor a no brainer.

That this ended up finally moving the Mystery of Charley on rather significantly gave even more resonance to this serial.

After her complete cock up at the end of The Raincloud Man the Doctor’s had enough nonsense. But before anything can get resolved, Charley’s weirdly infected and we jump forward a few hundred years while he’s been hunting for a cure, and reached a point where he’s more bothered about Charley’s health then her history.

Which is a rather cheap way of getting around the issue that the last serial ended on. However, the rest of the serial makes this new set up work, so I’ll overlook it. While the Doctor runs around meeting the Viyrans and Daleks, the mystery of Charley’s illness is revealed to be another person aboard the TARDIS.

Turns out Mila’s been onboard since The Chase but thanks to one of those virus the Viyran’s are tracking down she’s out of phase with reality. Instead she’s sat and watched. Rather creepily too. She’s wanted to take part but everyone who’s been with the Doctor since then has been protected by the TARDIS. However, thanks to Charley’s status as an anomaly she’s not. Which is a great little bit of continuity wrangling.

Mila’s history is scary as hell, and quite sad all at the same time. She’s basically the Doctor stalker, but only because she was experimented on by the Daleks and his TARDIS was the escape route. She now basically worships the Doctor, and finally gets to become the perfect companion, by stealing the life of his current one. That Charley is such a bad companion for Six, but perfect for Eight, adds some wonderful irony to the situation.

That she finally explains Charley’s oddities through her own actual history with the Daleks fits great, and the Doctor falls for it hook, line and sinker. Which would seem off, if it wasn’t more believable than what really happened to Charley.

It’s easy to see Mila as the bad guy here, and having heard Mission of the Viyrans I can already workout the explanation of how the Doctor doesn’t remember Charley. Now the mystery becomes how does Charley defeat Mila? Which isn’t what I expected, nor really wanted, from this arc. However, it is interesting and I’m looking forward to the last two parts of Charley’s story with the Doctor.
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