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< 3. The Other Side

4. Retail Therapy

Rating Votes
10
13%
1
9
63%
5
8
13%
1
7
13%
1
6
0%
0
5
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Average Rating
8.8
Votes
8

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 5/17/17 5:47 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the final story of the Ninth Doctor Chronicles, the Doctor and Rose visit the Powell Estate for a spot of laundry, only to find that Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) has become a successful entrepreneur. Selling the "Glubby Glub" to members of the Powell Estate, Jackie is trying her best to give Rose the life she deserves. But Jackie is unwittingly at the center of an alien invasion, and she's not having anything about the Doctor and Rose's concerns. Will the Doctor and Rose have to come into conflict with Jackie, or will Jackie snap out and realize what's going on? Retail Therapy, by James Goss, is a fun little story, and one that does a lot to give Coduri's Jackie depth. Featuring an excellent performance by Camille Coduri, and a solid script by James Goss, this final story ends up as the highlight of this set.

Camille Coduri is the real star of this story, once again portraying Jackie Tyler, mother of Rose. Coduri hasn't lost any of the charm that made her so fun in Series 1; hearing her in this story, it's as if she never even left the role. She's pitch perfect at all the right moments; she's unintentionally hilarious throughout, she's savage towards the Doctor, and most importantly, she knows how to command the scene and the attention. Her finest moment comes at the end, as she laughs at the idea that the Doctor took her "betrayal" seriously, and how she knew exactly what was going on throughout the story. Whether by nature of being with Coduri, or just comfort in the role, Briggs sounds most at home here in this story. Much of the load of this story was taken by his narration, rather than his impression of the Ninth Doctor, which helped him out immensely. Again, I'm consistently impressed that he's able to create a slew of guest characters, and make each of them sound and feel unique. While his Ninth Doctor impression was a consistent issue throughout, his other work, including his very assured narration, really highlighted these stories.

The plot of this final story has some similarities to Partners in Crime, but with some distinctive changes. James Goss does a really good job of putting this story together, mixing in an interesting plot with some excellent character work for Jackie. By far, the best part of this story was Goss' excellent work with the character of Jackie. In the original show, she's generally a bit of a vapid, shallow person who just wants some easy money and a husband. But in this audio, she's all that, but with an added depth. She's wary of the Doctor, and she desperately wants her daughter to end her association with him, because she's so worried for Rose. There's a lovely little scene where Jackie pulls the Doctor and Rose aside, and explains how she wants Rose to have the life that she deserves, not the life that the Doctor is giving to her. She also describes her fear every time she hears the grinding of the TARDIS, because she worries that it will be the Doctor coming to tell Jackie that Rose is gone, in a rather poignant moment. But the character work, while certainly the strongest part of the story, isn't the only good thing about this story. The plot itself, while a bit standard, was an interesting, fun premise, not least of all Jackie's revelation at the end that she knew what was going on the entire time, and she was doing it to try and get in with the Glubby Glub people. But more than that, the idea that Jackie was the villain of the story, ostensibly, was a fascinating choice, and made for a really interesting story in the end.

The last thing I'd like to make note of is the very slight soundtrack, done by Ioan Morris and Rhys Downing. It's not present throughout most of these stories, really only appearing in short little segments a few times throughout the story. It serves the purpose of these stories well, as it's not intrusive or anything, but I do wish that they'd been featured a little bit more. There was a lot of dead space throughout these stories, that a little bit of music could have enhanced just a bit.

Overall, the closing story of the Ninth Doctor Chronicles is a delight to listen to. Highlighted here is an excellent performance by Jackie Tyler who, through some excellent writing by James Goss, is able to give a strong, sensitive performance throughout, which stands as the highlight of this entire set. Even Briggs sounded better than he has in the previous three stories. Mixed together with a strong script from James Goss, this story really pops, and closes the set on a strong note.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/12/17 3:49 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Rose Tyler's mother Jackie (played once again by Camille Coduri) has finally become a financial success and is ready to give Rose the life she feels she deserves. Through her invention known simply as the Glubby Glub, she has taken the Powell Estate by storm but the Doctor is extremely suspicious. They make people feel better, look better, and on a whole be better which is kind of unusual in and of itself. doing just that though. Does the Time Lord know best and is Jackie really the star she believes herself to be or is there truly something more nefarious going on behind the scenes of her success? It's an interesting premise to say the least especially with the best parent to a companion in Doctor Who history and thankfully the story does her full justice in an intriguing story that lets Jackie be the full on center of it all as is appropriate for her and her character. I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to Corduri again in her full character again and her caring heart and personality is full of surprises even through to the end. I also loved at how funny this story actually is with the premise of essentially invasion of the evil stress balls. The script and dialogue in this one written by Goss is witty and full on brilliant especially in the quieter moments between the characters especially with Jackie. Nine's talk on bacon is one of the funniest moments I've ever seen out of the character and other lines are just flat out hilarious and so purely perfect for these characters. More than any other other audio in this set (minus the first story), this is the one I could see being played in the full TV show at some point and it's nice to be back in the Powell estate where this TARDIS team belongs. All of this combines with humor and great acting all around and makes this story a really refreshing listen as a whole. It reminds me quite a bit for the Series 4 story 'Partners in Crime' both in terms of story and tone and it fits really well in to this set even with a quieter ending than I was expecting. Overall with an excellent performance by Jackie Tyler mixed together with a strong script from Goss and some of Briggs' best narration and character dialogue, this story is one of Nine's best that ends the set on an extremely high note.
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