REVIEW: CHARLOTTE POLLARD – SERIES 1 / AUTHOR: JONATHAN BARNES, MATT FITTON / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: INDIA FISHER, ANNEKE WILLS, TERRENCE HARDIMAN, MICHAEL MALONEY, JAMES JOYCE, NICHOLAS BRIGGS, LOUISE BREALEY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Charlotte Pollard was created by Big Finish as a companion to the Eighth Doctor when he joined their main range in 2001. She moved on to the Sixth Doctor in 2008 before vanishing off with the Viyrans in 2009. This is her overdue return.
The Viyrans (played by Micheal Maloney) are a race of aliens wholly dedicated to eliminating the universe of viral infection and Charlotte Pollard (Fisher) is one of their agents. She has spent many centuries helping them until they encounter the Ever-and-ever-Proloxity (a unique region of space) which triggers a sequence of events that will see Charlotte travel through time and space until a final showdown with the fate of all life at stake. Her only help are a mysterious rogue Viyran and would-be adventurer Robert Buchan (Joyce).
This story is presented over four discs and while it takes its time, it does provide a legitimate way for Charlotte to leave the Viyrans and end up with a whole new stage of her life starting. There are plenty of mysteries and the style is different from previous Big Finish productions thanks to the writing talents of Jonathan Barnes and Matt Fitton. Although the title Lamentation Cypher will forever stick in memory, the strongest episode is The Fall of the House of Pollard which brings closure to the backstory and a tear to the eye of the listener. There are other strong performances by Nick Briggs as Robert Buchan’s father and Louise Brealey (Molly in Sherlock) as Buchan’s fiancée. An entertaining romp that has now put clear water between Charley’s Doctor Who roots and a future full of potential.