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Surprisingly Good

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Wednesday 27 February 2019
Rating:   8

Part of the 2-short series, this set has Doctor 7, Ace, and Hex in two thematically related adventures. Created after Big Finish had let Hex go off into legend, these stories would fit into the Hex sequence early on, as Hex is still learning about life aboard the TARDIS. "Shadow Planet" has the crew travel to world set up as a kind of pretentious spa in which people apparently have their Jungian shadow selves temporarily removed so the people can discover their true selves. The process has something to do with the planet itself, which turns out to be a single living entity (Gaia hypothesis, anyone?). The spa director is overtaxing the planet's resources to maximize profits. Now the planet is fighting back. "World Apart" is the more interesting of the two stories. The TARDIS gets pulled onto a kind of Flying Dutchman world that exists outside normal time, but puts into existence in some random place every 1000 years or so. The Doctor and the TARDIS disappear, leaving Hex and Ace on their own in a crash course in survival while The Doctor tries to get back to rescue them. There is a big confrontation at the end where Hex and The Doctor just do not see eye to eye about ethics. The story is interesting in part because it is just the three characters, although Ace gets the most attention. The situation allows us to explore the Ace-Hex dynamic more minutely than occurred in the main run.

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