It’s been too long since Lucie Bleedin’ Miller has been part of the Doctor Who universe – and there have been many who suspected that we might never hear from her again. Sheridan Smith has, to put it mildly, been a bit busy of late, and I’ve been delighted that Big Finish has resisted the temptation to retcon the events of her final story, instead using them as the springboard for first Dark Eyes and now the Doom Coalition series.
The Short Trips range is the ideal place for her to make a return appearance; the stories are deliberately vignettes in the lives of the Doctors and their companions, and can be slotted in at times almost between scenes of the previous tales. This is a case in point – as far as characterisation goes, Alice Cavender hits all the requisite spots for both Lucie and the Eighth Doctor, without going continuity heavy and insisting that the story has to be happen at a particular time in their friendship. Lucie doesn’t put up with any crap from the Time Lord – something which becomes important to the story – and the Eighth Doctor can sometimes become sidetracked, although unlike some of his other incarnations, he simply goes and talks to the person at the heart of the problem rather than concocting some wild scheme to deal with the alien threat.
The story requires Smith to use various different accents, and she does it well, also capturing the repressed (and sometimes not so repressed) urgency that can characterise McGann’s Doctor.
Verdict: A welcome return for Lucie in a solid adventure. 8/10