Patient Zero (2009)

2009 TOMS TARDIS AWARD WINNER

  • Best Cover Design (Ian Robertson)
  • Best Music/Sound Design (Howard Carter)

It’s been eight months since we last heard from the Sixth Doctor and Charley and the anticipation has been building ever since. This story also sees the return of the Daleks. This is their second adventure in three months and the third since October 2008. This story also marks the full story debut of the Viyrans. They first appeared in Mission of the Viyrans back in November 2007 so why its taken so long to get to this position is a mystery. Nicholas Briggs has decided to write this story and as the Executive Producer of the Doctor Who range he was perhaps the best person to start this final series of adventures for Charley. I can’t remember much about the Mission of the Viyrans story as it was so long ago but from what I can remember the Viyrans were very impressive.

The story itself is a very good one with the Doctor trying to find a cure to a disease that Charley has contracted. It was a clever trick to try and prolong the true story about Charley. The Fratalin were well thought off and I liked how despite the fact they were all likely to be killed by the Daleks that they never even entertained the idea of abandoning the station. The Daleks purpose in this story was possibly the best thought of for quite some time. I thought that the Viyrans were fantastic in this story. Their arrival was well handled and deliberately left until as late in the story as possible. When they did arrive they were everything that I had hoped. They stood up to the Daleks and were fearless. Plus there was the added bonus of being indestructible.

The most interesting element of this story was the role of Mila. It appears that this person is someone who has travelled with the Doctor since his first incarnation. She is Patient Zero and goes from goodie to baddie in a second when she steals Charley’s look and pretends to be her with the Doctor. By the end of the story Mila is still pretending to be her and Charley is stuck in nothing.

India Fisher was the star of the show. She gets to play two versions of Charley and seems to revel in both. I personally think that the character of Charley has worked better with the Sixth Doctor than with the Eighth. I don’t know why but it seems this way. Colin Baker is on fine form again and its seems his determination to know the truth about Charley is still strong but he is starting to take a shine to her. Michael Maloney was very good as the Fratalin. His voice was very good for the creature and worked very well opposite the Doctor. Jess Robinson puts in a good performance as Mila and no doubt we will hear more from her in future stories.

Nicholas Briggs has a very good track record as a writer. Previous contributions include The Nowhere Place (2006) and Frozen Time (2007). I don’t think that this is quite on par with those two however it’s a thoroughly enjoyable four part story. I thought that the whole story had a nice pace to it and all the characters worked very well.

Bodes well for the other two stories.

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