The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
By Stephen Wyatt
Reviewed by DJ Forrest
Narrated by Sophie Aldred
Published by AudioGO Ltd
Running Time: 4hrs 44min
Number of CDs: 4
Release Date: 01/08/2013
Complete and unabridged novelisation
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy is as you may have guessed – a circus, but inside the tent with the sawdust and the audience are circus folk you will have never seen before.
This story features the 7th Doctor and his companion Ace and they’re on their way to a psychic circus on the planet Seganax, a wilderness of a place, barren landscape, where kites (not the birds) are deployed to search for those who may have escaped from the circus. A hearse driven by the Chief Clown is called out to collect the runaways with his team of robot clowns. You see once you enter the circus, you can never leave!
There are two characters, Bellboy who is a robot repairer employed by the circus, and there’s Flower Child who is in love with Bellboy, and they escape but the kites with eyes painted on them fly into the sky in search of the runaways, and when it sights them, it sends a message through to the hearse and the clowns are deployed. Bellboy knows he will never outrun the kites and acts as a decoy in order for Flower Child to escape.
There are many characters within the story, including a proud biker called Nord who is also a little stupid, but they’re all going to the Circus, to perform their acts in front of an audience of three!
Sophie Aldred really has her work cut out in this story, as I said, there are many characters, so obviously many voices and she does it so easily, throwing a Scottish accent for the Doctor, Ace’s gruff stubborn voice, then the deep grumpy accent for Nord, then there’s Bellboy and Flower Child and many more besides.
The audio story was written by Stephen Wyatt, who also wrote the novel published by Target Books in 1989. Stephen also wrote and novelised Paradise Towers.
It’s an extremely long audio story – 4 CD’s in total, and it’s very easy to get lost in the midst of it, but stick with it. I’ve never been a fan of the 7th Doctor, but this story I found interesting, and Sophie’s interpretation of the characters helped to cement that.
Sophie Aldred is a British actress and television presenter best known for her portrayal of the Doctor's companion Ace from 1987 to 1989. Sophie has also performed on radio and in theatre, reprising her role as Ace in a charity special Dimensions in Time and the Doctor Who audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions.