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< VII. Return of the Krotons
IX. The Four Doctors >

VIII. An Earthly Child

Rating Votes
10
5%
7
9
12%
16
8
36%
47
7
23%
30
6
18%
24
5
5%
7
4
1%
1
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
7.4
Votes
132
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/26/18 6:48 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The emotional core of this story is superb. It's the Doctor and Susan, his granddaughter and original companion reunited and how they relate to one another. The scenes with Carole Ann Ford and Paul McGann together are superb. They've got great chemistry and these scenes are beautiful to listen to.

The plot of this story is dense. When I listened to this three years back, I was very critical of how much stuff writer Marc Platt was trying to jam into a one hour story, I don't think it's as big a problem as occurred on first listen, as most issues, not all are dealt with. Although, some are dealt with a bit too quickly. But the story moves a good pace. It never degenerates into exposition dumps and never becomes maudlin.

It does have some contradictory messaging The story seems to also have a bit of a message about the dangers of prejudice and paranoia (in this case about aliens) as represented in the Watch Meetings. However, that message is totally blunted when the first aliens to come in response to Susan's call for help are planning to take over the planet.

Paul McGann's son Jake makes his Big Finish debut in this story and is a bit flat, which to the script's detriment.
Still, the elder McGann and Carole Ann Ford both turn in good performances, and the ending is low-key but just perfect to this story as well.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 11/20/15 1:07 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

One day I shall come back, yes I shall come back. Finally those words are true as An Earthly Child sees the Doctor finally return to Susan on future Earth. Earth has gone through some tough times after the Dalek Invasion ended and is now being invaded by another alien species. This species was brought in by Susan who was only trying to help. She also has a son who is played by Paul McGann's son, Jake McGann who does an alright job but has a slight lisp which is really annoying. He has great chemistry with his father and Carole Ann Ford's Susan. Susan is also extremely well developed as she is no longer the helpless little girl.

Some of my bigger complaints of the story is that it is a bit too predictable and reliant on the Twilight Zone Episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. Platt tries to paint a paranoid earth afraid of the monsters, but it fails in that respect being more post-apocalyptic than anything else. We could have had so much more with the release but didn't and Platt usually gives much better ideas. The story is still enjoyable enough and should be checked out for the character interactions alone.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 10/17/15 3:47 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

One of the big unanswered questions in Doctor Who is "What happened to Susan Foreman?" Obviously, there has been lots of fan speculation as to whether Susan was a Timelord, or even the Doctor’s granddaughter. Marc Platt wrote both 'Auld Mortality' and 'Storm of Angels' from the 'Unbound' range. Which feature Susan and the Doctor from an alternative timeline, making him the obvious candidate for scripting Susan’s return to a more conventional time line. Big Finish’s attempt to take on these questions is a brave effort and Marc Platt was given the brief of bringing back Susan twenty years after the Doctor left her, and with a son, the Doctor’s great grandson. 'An Earthly Child' was directed by Nick Briggs.

The Earth has been left scarred, and still in turmoil twenty years after the events in 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth'. There are food shortages, survivors who manned the moon base still have their communications to earth cut off and xenophobic groups such as Earth United have sprung up. David Campbell has been dead some time leaving Susan Campbell with a human son. Susan, who is now on the Earth Council, has been attempting to contact aliens to gain assistance rebuilding the Earth. Her son, Alex, has a rebellious streak and, unaware of his lineage, been drawn to the Earth United group. With such a high profile mother Earth United are only too willing to take his membership. Susan has managed to contact a race called the 'Guldreasi', but can they be trusted?

One of the interesting facets of the casting is the decision to cast Jake McGann as seventeen year old Alex. Jake's performance is often flat and laid back, but the scene where he first enters the Tardis leaves a lot to be desired in terms of character reaction. He is part of an alien hate group and just discovered that he is one of them! His reaction should be shock and anger, not boredom. A part from the revelatory scene I don't necessarily think that his performance is a bad one. Perhaps the apple has fallen far from the tree in terms of inherited traits, or considering the cold, pompous Timelords the series has presented us with over the years. The Doctor skulks around furtively at first, observing, showing trepidation about the reception he might receive. He abandoned Susan and left her on a troubled planet, alien to here. Carol Anne Ford's performance is perfectly pitched. Susan remembers the vents of the Five Doctors, and does have two hearts - whereas, Alex has only the one.

The music has a light touch and provides a subtle atmosphere with an other wordly feel to it. This is an emotive tale about prejudice as well as reuniting families and nostalgia for the listener. This well paced and character driven, the ending was left quite open answering one question with another. I didn't feel at all cheated, and in fact wanted more, which is always a good sign. One of criticisms this comes in for is that there isn't enough character development because of the one hour length. That's like criticising a one legged man for not being able to run faster. Of course they might not be able to expand on things as much as they would like to in an hour, but I didn’t feel it was a problem at all. I thought this was well paced with great characters, Alex and Susan, who eventually return in the Eight Doctor Adventures. I thought this was a great story with good dialogue, imagery and characters. Utterly memorable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: Doctor Alec HardyReview Date: 9/1/15 9:20 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This story centers around the 8th Doctor, his granddaughter, Susan and her son, Alex Campbell. The story follows the three and we see how the world is coping years after the invasion of the Daleks (Hartnell era episodes). Susan tries to make people see that there are people out there, in the universe, who can help, but she is reapeatedly ignored. Paul Mcgann & Carol Ann Ford work great together and I especially love that the Doctor's great grandson in this story, is Paul Mcgann's real life son!