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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
Worldwide Web


Starring: Paul McGann
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £10.99 (CD), £8.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 84435 400 9
Available 31 October 2009

London, 2015. The apocalypse is upon us. Thanks to the Eightfold Truth, Metebelis crystals cover the Earth, and the Eight Legs, giant spiders from that distant world, are poised to take control of the planet. As the Doctor attempts to deal with the invasion and its connection to a long-lost stellar manipulator he last saw above Orbis, Lucie Miller finds herself playing host to the Great One. Can she break free of the spider leader’s control, or will she be lost forever? And can Earth avoid becoming trapped forever in a worldwide web...?

As usual, the season ends with a two-part story - or rather, on this occasion, a four-parter split over two single-disc releases. However, now that the Eighth Doctor and Lucie adventures have reverted to Doctor Who’s classic 25-minute format, why does this disc even need a different title to that of the previous one, The Eight Truths?

Anyhow, suffice it to say that there’s even more Eight Legs action this time around, as the spiders (don’t use that word!) threaten to take over the world. The voice modulation and energy beam sound effects from the 1974 serial Planet of the Spiders are faithfully reproduced by sound designer Martin Johnson, though the modulation is also applied to possessed humans for purely practical reasons of storytelling. You do need to be familiar with Planet of the Spiders in order to understand how the Eight Legs take control of people and fire said energy beams, as the production team assumes that the listener is au fait with such things.

As for the other returning adversary, I was beginning to think that the Headhunter (Katarina Olsson) had been overused, but this CD put paid to such thoughts.

There’s also a neat link back to the season opener Orbis.

Worldwide Web isn’t the most exciting season finale in the whole wide world, but I have a fondness for the Eight Legs and it’s nice to hear from them again. Besides, there’s only a couple of months’ wait until the next season.


Richard McGinlay

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