The voice of MasterChef steps into the TARDIS for this original adventure featuring the Eighth Doctor


ALTHOUGH there are rumours that Paul McGann may make a surprise appearance as the Eighth Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, so far his on-screen portrayal of the Time Lord has been cruelly restricted to just one appearance in the 1996 TV movie, where he showed incredible potential in the role despite a somewhat duff script.

But this incarnation also enjoyed a healthy life in various comic strips and original novels, as well as numerous adventures in Big Finish’s long-running series of Who audio plays.

I must confess to a particular affection for the TARDIS team of the Eighth Doctor and Charlotte “Charley” Pollard, the Edwardian adventuress given life by Masterchef voiceover person India Fisher in a whole batch of those plays, now finally given the canonical status she deserves.

Perhaps it was the sense of opportunity presented by all-new stories featuring the Eighth Doctor, maybe it was the joie de vivre which India brought to Charley, a well-rounded, realistic character who didn’t behave like her dozens of TV predecessors. Or it could have been the fact that the initial batch of BF stories were just so damn good, with a maturity and narrative flair that just wasn’t seen on screen during the classic era of the show.

Regardless of my reasons, I had an obvious delight in hearing Ms Fisher back as Charley for the eighth instalment of the Destiny of the Doctor series, full of the same excitement, enthusiasm, wit and wonder which made her such a great companion (at least initially – enough said about Charley’s latter BF appearances).

The story itself is a light-hearted period romp which admirably serves both this version of the Time Lord and his erstwhile companion, embroiling the Doctor and Charley in the music hall world of 1930s London, a desperate escape on board a speeding express train, and culminating in a finale in a secret base somewhere in Scotland.

India does a marvellous job as narrator, Charley and in other roles including two incarnations of the Doctor himself and a Scottish priest, ably assisted by Michael Maloney as Hilary. Mind you, Ms Fisher would sound incredible reading a bus timetable, so there’s no doubting the strength of her vocal talents.

A fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable new adventure for one of my favourite Doctor-companion teams, and another hit instalment in the Destiny series.

Available from