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147k 'Medicinal Purposes'

CD audio adventure released August 2004, 4 episodes

Writers: Robert Ross
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: The true story of Burke and Hare. Evelyn jokes about being underground and mentions Wimbledon Common (The Wombles) and mentions Roger Bannister. Knox deliberately refers to Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. The Doctor misquotes Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade ("ours not to reason why...") although refrains from completing the line. Knox quotes Aleister Crowley ("do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law")

Dialogue Triumphs: 'The names you drop have to bounce — that's the secret!'

Continuity: Despite appearances and behaviour Knox is not a renegade Time lord but a human who acquired his Type 70 TARDIS from a Nekkistani dealer on Gryben. His alien clients are dying from a flu-like plague, and as their immune systems are remarkably similar to those of humans Knox is using the doomed citizens of Edinburgh, those who will not be missed by history, as human guinea pigs. He has infected his victims with the virus and is examining their bodies to determine how to defeat the plague.

The Doctor has been tinkering with the TARDIS console [when Evelyn remarks that he seems fonder of it than his human charges it materialises uncharacteristically smoothly].

The Doctor regards the TARDIS as a single fixed point in his life beyond his own people and his companions, who all let him down and leave him in the end. He is superstitious about naming Macbeth aloud as actors supposedly are — claiming that at some stage ('or on some stage') in his lives he was an actor.

Links: Gallifrey: Weapon of Choice (Gryben) Assassin in the Limelight, The Doctor's meeting with Daft Jamie has him recall his past companion of the same name (no offence intended, surely)

Location: Edinburgh, Christmas 1828.

The Bottom Line: "No-one can shout while the Doctor's about!"

Creepy and evocative, Ross' first Big Finish script is a class act, ensured no doubt by the inclusion of yet-to-be-announced future Doctor David Tennant, but propped up as strongly by Leslie Phillips' superbly suave and cold Knox. A good cast then, for the most part, and a sombre end make for a diverting story, although like most medicine, this is a tonic best dealt in small doses.

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