AN EARTHLY CHILD
This Big Finish Audio is really quite good. I'm not sure about the aliens but they are very original, almost like angels of light while being vulture like scavengers and tricking even Susan...well, tha'ts not hard is it? This starts out with the theme to the Hartnell Doctor Who era and ends the same. And yes, Susan is in it and David is dead...how many Susan returns is that now? We've had that poor 5th Doctor Radio Times story with Susan as a princess that wasn't a time lady and the Master, we've had Susan in one of the John Peel Dalek/8th Doctor novels where, unless memory disserves me, SUsan and the 8th Doctor do not meet or do so very very briefly, and we've had a radio satire of Who Was Susan Foreman or something like that. We've had a few UNBOUNDs with Susan but formerly in the audios Susan has not met any of the later Doctors. And even when she did in the TV show in FIVE DOCTORS, the entire issue of her background is skirted around. She doens't call the 5th Doctor Grandfather and he doesn't acknowledge her as his grand daughter, nor does Doc 2 or 3 interact with her at all, and even Doc1 seems to only say, "Susan, surely,i't's Susan."
Well, here she's back and predictably, David is dead. BUT she has a son. Before I get into that, here, Susan is a fool, being tricked by aliens who say they want to help Earth...but...hasn't the Doctor been fooled too (the 9th DOctor in THE UNDEAD DEAD or something like that). So they bring Susan back and make her...do something that endangers the entire earth.
This audio, however, is not bad. There's some very good stuff from Paul McGann and his meeting with Susan is good, this time filling out some stuff that others would have skirted around. Carole Ann Ford plays it as if she's remeeting the Hartnell Doctor while also imbibing it with glee over his new form and amazement at how many lives he's gone through. Here, she is just about perfect. THere is also some danger and a death.
Susan has a son. Unfortunately, they chose to give him just one heart, which is a shame really. They also chose, much to my and the actor who plays Alex Campbell--Jake McGann--yes, Pauls' son--dismay. I would rather have had him a full blown Time Lord alien with two hearts, the ability to regenerate (we don't know that he does or doesn't have this ability) and to have him leave with the DOctor at the end, possibly leaving Susan behind. Still, I'm grateful they didn't go the Joe Lidster route and kill off Susan and make Alex evil and have him die too.
HEaring Susan call the Doc, grandfather is amusing and funny and feels SO right. Jake is a good actor and his voice, very youngish in the first 8th Doctor audio he was in (the one with the gods and he did a great job there with what he was given) has changed to an almost mature one, possibl too mature. Jake does a good job with this and he's given some good stuff, almost an enemy of the Doctor, whom he doesn't know is his great grandfather. I'm glad they did this audio and it is entertaining nad never boring although I don't quite feel the politic stuff but it's a good try and attempt at creating a world left over from the Dalek invasion. The group stuff is sort of already out of my memory, the groups that fight secretly against any aliens and use Alex as their new poster boy. The aliens here, too, are not really my cup of tea and the Doc's stopping them is sort of...well, a bit easy, innit?
I'ts nice to hear Susan back again and have her admit she has two hearts and have her ask the Doctor to take him to Gallifrey for training. It's abit disconcerting to have th e Doc ask her if HE, the great grandson has two hearts...does that mean either he or Gallifrey or both are prejudice. Didn't the First Doc and even the Second at times, have ONE heart? ANd if the novels are to be believed, the 8th Doctor had his second heart robbed at one point! Although in the novel LEGACY OF THE DALEKS, it's stated that David and Susan had no children (BLAH TO THAT) which might mean the novels and audios take place in different continuity and/or universes. Maybe.
In any event, this is an enjoyable audio story and the performances are good, the script tight and warm without being overlly sentimental but I do wish Alex went with the DOctor in the end.