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182 'Other Lives'

CD audio adventure released December 2005, 4 episodes

Writer: Gary Hopkins
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: The Elephant Man. Crackles' fate recalls the conclusion of Tod Browning's Freaks. The Doctor and companions' reunion mimics the 'Brad? Janet! Doctor Scott!' scene from The Rocky Horror Show. Some of the surnames are straight out of Dickens-land. Among the music playing at the Crystal Palace is The British Grenadier.

Dialogue Disasters: C'rizz is ordered to disrobe: "What sort of Eutermesan do you take me for?"

Double Entendres: Charley's opening lines (which turn out to be about the Crystal Palace — ho ho!): "Doctor, it's huge! It's absolutely enormous and much bigger than I ever imagined. What a magnificent erect-"

"You know what they say about small packages" "-that they're bitterly disappointing?"

Continuity: The Doctor adjusts the TARDIS' isomorphic controls to allow C'rizz to control the door. The TARDIS' temporal drift compensators are still on the blink, which fortunately allows for the ship to rematerialise exactly on the spot of its departure and on time, as it were.

C'rizz doesn't know what a greenhouse is. He says the view through the TARDIS scanner is "hazy". It is hinted that he at least blinded Crackles at the end of this story.

Charley took one riding lesson when she was young and is unaccustomed to riding side-saddle (but manages reasonably well regardless). Her French is rudimentary. She doesn't have a TARDIS key.

The Doctor performs some basic sleight of hand tricks in an attempt to earn money to gain entry to the exhibition and to palm some keys. He admits that he ever thought of himself as a family man, and unlike his Fifth incarnation has no need for spectacles

Links: The Talons of Weng-Chiang ("Sleep is for tortoises"). Charley mentions her mother and befriending gypsies (Memory Lane); she visited the Crystal Palace as a child, though this is not referenced here (The Next Life). C'rizz's inner voices and mental deterioration continues to manifest itself (Terror Firma).

Location: The Great Exhibition and city of London, 1851.

The Bottom Line: A welcome departure after all the back story and doom of recent releases. Other Lives thinks small and gives its regulars — McGann in particular rewarding stories where the Earth hardly moves, but the heart does (awww), Charley gets mistaken for a prostitute (tee hee), and C'rizz does something probably quite unpleasant off-stage (eww). Worth your time all the same.

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