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180 'Terror Firma'

CD audio adventure released August 2005, 4 episodes

Writer: Joseph Lidster
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Secret Army and World War Two resistance literature. The guests at Harriet's party sing the Hokey Pokey. The Doctor borrows from Goldfinger "I suppose you expect me to talk?"

Goofs: India Fisher's voice is obvious in the 'wildtrack' party guest voices during the first episode.

Dialogue Triumphs: "I think we're meant to be screaming or perhaps proclaiming 'Daleks all along, I should have realised!-'" "-Charley, you stole my line!"

Continuity: Davros spent years alone after Skaro was destroyed, his escape pod blasted into the Vortex after the destruction of the Dalek mothership (see Links). Trapped there and brooding over his fate he was eventually rescued by a Nekkistani time ship. He repaid their kindness by killing them all, and began his revenge on the Doctor shortly afterward (see box-out below). Presumably as a result of many factors not the least including his long period of isolation, Davros has begun losing his sanity, occasionally referring to himself as "we"; the Doctor suggests that he is beginning to realise his inevitable destiny and is turning into a Dalek. Having studied the Ship while the Doctor is unconscious Davros uses his considerable skills in genetic engineering to forge a link between the organic components of the TARDIS and the mind of Samson Griffin.

This is C'rizz's first encounter with the Daleks, while Charley has never met (nor heard of) Davros. As in C'rizz's universe there is no linear time and the dead never really 'go away', those whom he has "saved" through death are still a part of him.

The Doctor claims to Davros that he is taking Charley and C'rizz to Blackpool (see: Links - though this is likely a bluff). He confesses that a Universe with no linear time such as C'rizz's was a "hellish existence" for a Time Lord such as he.

Untelevised Adventures: See the accompanying box-out for a list of adventures the Doctor had with the Griffin siblings. It is revealed that the Doctor also apparently journeyed with Agatha Christie for some time [presumably this is forgotten through some means given the Tenth Doctor says he has always wanted to meet her.

Links: Storm Warning, Remembrance of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks (the moral/viral scenario). The Next Life. ("Nothing ventured, nothing gained", a phrase used by the Doctor while with Samson and Gemma, was its closing line), The Last (Gemma repeats to C'rizz Charley's request that he help her to die), Zagreus (the Doctor has recently been confronted by his own people's corruption). Agatha Christie's adventures with the Doctor presumably occur some time after The Unicorn and the Wasp. Harriet's mention of dying sunflowers is a clue as to the story's location, Earth (Caerdroia). The Doctor recalls to Davros "the time we worked together" and Davros' subsequent failure to change his ways (Davros). Charley realises the 'doctor' Samson calls for is hers by his mention of Everlasting matches (Caerdroia, The Next Life).

Location: Folkestone, the Twentieth century (or later)

The Bottom Line: Twisted and shocking. Lidster brings the TARDIS crew back to earth with an audible bang and seemingly wraps up Davros (hardly a stranger to BF by this stage) to boot. At turns horrible and hilarious - the tragic tale of Samson and Gemma is genuinely nasty, while the identity of the Resistance is a surprising revelation in itself, this is one of the more entertaining Eighth Doctor adventures in some time. Continuity aside, highly recommended.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAMSON AND GEMMA

In Terror Firma it is revealed that before the events of Storm Warning the Eighth Doctor had other companions, among them brother and sister Samon and Gemma Griffin. Before entering the TARDIS Samson or 'Sam' used to work at the library in Folkestone, meeting the Time Lord when the latter visited to borrow a mystery novel (possibly The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by alleged former companion Agatha Christie?). Intrigued by the Doctor, Gemma convinced her brother to shadow him, and in the absence of further detail we must conclude that the resulting adventure led to the siblings joining the Doctor. Travelling with him in the TARDIS their numerous adventures included a visit to the planets Porteous and Murgatroyd, the ice caves of Shabadabadon, Lake Geneva (during which time the Doctor encountered Mary Shelley), the court of Queen Elizabeth I, prehistoric Earth and Studio 54 where they may also have been involved in a battle with living guitars. After visiting the world of Valuensis they encountered Davros' battered Nekkistani timeship drifting in the Time Vortex. Separated from the Doctor and overpowered by the scientist they returned to the TARDIS under Davros' control and the agents of his revenge on the Doctor. Knocked out by Samson the Doctor eventually regained consciousness with no memory of the Griffin siblings, a signed copy of the Christie novel (given to him by them), and his TARDIS witness to a flock of vortisaurs converging on the stricken Nekkistani vessel - the opening moments of Storm Warning and the adventure that would introduce the Doctor to Charley Pollard.

Back on Earth, Samson returned home, also deprived of his recent memory of the Doctor and Gemma, and monitored through his dreams by Davros. Gemma's fate was worse, transformed by Davros into a human carrier of a Dalek mutagenic virus. During the events of Terror Firma Gemma is killed outright, ostensibly by C'rizz, while the all-but recovered Samson remains with his mother, oblivious of his recent adventures and the fate of his sister.

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