BBC Audio
Earth and Beyond
Read by Paul McGann

Editor Steve Cole
Produced 1998

Synopsis: An audio collection of short-stories.


A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 19/12/98

To many fans, the chance to hear Paul McGann reprise his role as the Eighth Doctor must come as something of a godsend. That said, however, he makes just as good a narrator as he does a Doctor (something the fans glimpsed in the opening moments of the TV Movie).

Earth and Beyond provides something for everyone: "Bounty", by Peter Anghelides, could make for easy listening on a hot summers day, set as it is in the Seychelles. "Bounty" has a lot going for it--the interaction between the Doctor and Sam (in what deserves to be her introductory story) as they play word games is a joy to behold. Less so however, is the fact that it features chase scenes aplenty, being essentially a story about a shapeshifting, fugitive. These are difficult to visualise in tal king book format.

"Dead Time", by Andrew Miller, is an experimental piece in audio terms but works thanks again to Paul McGann. It takes place inside the Doctor`s head, for the most part being a tale of parasitic time travel; it makes for fascinating listening.

Closing the tape is Paul Leonard`s "The People`s Temple", taken from the Short Trips book--it is overlong and at times simply boring. It is not a bad Eighth Doctor tale and does allow McGann to flesh out and bring the character of Sam Jones to life, but two shorter pieces would have been more welcome.

If this is the only way to hear Paul McGann as the Doctor, then for the moment I`m content to let it be this way, if Earth and Beyond is anything to judge by.