Click here to return to the main site.

Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
The Companion Chronicles


Starring: India Fisher and David Bailie
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £8.99 (CD), £7.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 84435 468 9
Available 30 June 2010

What if there were a game you didn’t know you were playing? Where you didn’t know the aim and you hadn’t seen the rules?” Charlotte Pollard arrives in a toyshop, but she doesn’t know where she is - or even who she is. The mysterious owner wants to play games. He’s the Celestial Toymaker, and he has already defeated the Doctor, whose essence is hidden inside a ventriloquist’s doll. The Doctor is gone, the TARDIS is lost, but the game is only just beginning...

Solitaire is a very unusual Companion Chronicle, and not just because it’s the first one to be set during the era of the Eighth Doctor (taking place between Embrace The Darkness and The Time of the Daleks). Though the number of voice artists is the usual complement of two, in this instance India Fisher as Charlotte Pollard and David Bailie as the Celestial Toymaker (reprising the role from The Nightmare Fair), this is a two-handed audio drama rather than an audio book. There is no narration: the entire story is conveyed in dialogue.

Writer John Dorney craftily ensures that the Doctor is present within the story, even though the actor who usually plays him is not - rather like the middle two episodes of the original Celestial Toymaker, appropriately enough. Fisher doubles up as the role of the Doctor, who has been transformed into a ventriloquist’s dummy and can only speak in the voice of whoever picks him up. Meanwhile, Bailie also provides the sinister voice of the game, which is fitting, since it is one of the Toymaker’s games.

The events that unfold make riveting listening, and could be interpreted as a prequel to The Magic Mousetrap.

The CD concludes with 13 minutes of interviews with the cast and crew, including some exciting news for fans of Charley Pollard.

Solitaire is quite possibly the best, certainly the most inventive, Companion Chronicle yet produced. You’ll want to play it again and again.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£9.50 (
£6.99 (
£8.99 (
£7.19 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.