Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
I do love a challenge. So when the Indie Mac User team gave me series 2 of Charlotte Pollard to review I had one, because I had somehow failed to listen to series 1 when it came out. Surprising really, as I loved India Fisher in the role alongside the 8th and 6th Doctor (in that order).It was confirmed to me that this was to be a challenge when the first story in this set jumps straight in where the first series drops off. But I was in. First of all I was struck by how much I still found India Fisher so perfectly engaging. I had no doubt she could shoulder a series as the lead and it’s through her I started to build my understanding. Basically, she is the Doctor, her friend from the future Robert Buchan (James Joyce) is the companion and their Viyran friend (Dan Starkey) is the robot dog. Simplistic, yes; but it helped me.
The stories are engaging and even though I didn’t fully understand what was going on due to not having listened to the first set; I found the emerging story from this set so interesting as to not be too bothered by this.
There is a nice feeling of a ‘chase’ throughout this set and it gives a really nice pacing to the adventures; each leading to the next in one big story.
The only bits that left me slightly cold were the moments when Charlotte would reassure Robert he is ‘getting the hang of this’, which she does about 3 times. Once I think conveyed the message, more felt a little too much like we were being told what we could already hear. It also felt just a little as though they try just slightly too much to prove that Charlotte is from the past and Robert is from the future. He seems confused by ideas such as a Prime Minister. Even if they didn’t have one in the future, it would feel like they might have heard of the position. I just think they had written the characters so well, they need to trust that and not add lines to say it on the nose.
All that said the writing and direction by Nicholas Briggs is good, and would only need minor tweaking to make it feel really great for me.
In conclusion, do you need to have listened to the first box set? Well, yes, but they did enough to make me want to go back and listen to it and fill it in blanks. Of course if you haven’t listen to either yet; please buy both and listen to them in order, it would seem to be how it should be listened to. It’s also a good time to do so whilst there are only two sets as the end of this one also suggests it will be an ongoing story into set 3.
Our Edwardian adventurer gets a 7/10 from me for her second outing and I look forward to seeking our the first and then third parts!
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