This year, before we get Series 11, I’m going back in time thanks to Big Finish, to review the Eighth Doctor Adventures, following the story of (unsurprisingly) the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller. Today, I’ll be reviewing Human Resources- Part 1, the first part of the first series finale, by Eddie Robson.
Lucie Miller’s been headhunted to join the staff of Hulbert Logistics, a respectable blue-chip firm in Telford. Great prospects, competitive salary – you don’t have to be mad to work here! But wasn’t she made for better things, like travelling by TARDIS through time and space? The Doctor, meanwhile, has been fired – into a confrontation with the most terrifying of enemies..
Here we are; the beginning of the end of the first series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures. We opened with a two parter in Blood of The Daleks Part 1 and Part 2, and now we’re closing with another two parter in the form of Human Resources. At the end of No More Lies, Lucie was kidnapped by the Headhunter, and the Doctor was seemingly trapped with a TARDIS that wouldn’t function. How are the Doctor and Lucie going to get out of this one? Only time will tell…
We start the story with Lucie and the Headhunter, seemingly in an office setting, in Hulbert Logistics. It seems that it’s Lucie’s first day at a new job, but she senses something’s not quite right. There’s a doctor who’s supposed to be with her, isn’t there? It’s really disorientating to hear Lucie seemingly have very little recollection of the adventures she’s been on, and if you’ve listened to the entire series, you’ll get the sense that things have been happening for a while. Lines you considered throwaway earlier on now seem to have some real significance, and, within the first 90 seconds, I’m already recalling little lines or remarks from the previous stories.
Meanwhile, the Doctor meets a fellow Time Lord known as Straxus. It’s great to hear the origins of the character, as I was introduced to him in Dark Eyes, and it’s nice to hear how the Doctor knows him too. It seems like the Time Lords are wanting to strike a deal with the Doctor; they need Lucie back. However, things aren’t quite as simple as they could be. The Doctor’s TARDIS is still out of action, so he’s given a Time Ring (shame they didn’t have any Vortex Manipulators handy) to go on this mission to save Lucie Miller.
Back with Lucie, she’s seemingly quickly settled in her new job opposite her new workmate, Karen, who seems almost too good to be true. It seems that Lucie and Karen are a perfect pairing, and I have to admit, that I reckon there’s going to be more to Karen than meets the eye. Nobody gets on that well with someone so quickly.
Lucie’s quickly summoned to another department, where the person in charge sounds extremely familiar; someone who sounds an awful lot by Paul McGann, the Doctor is back. And Lucie remembers him.
It seems that Hulbert Logistics is more than meets the eye, there’s seemingly a gruff sounding alien at the top, and everyone bar Lucie and the Doctor seem to be ever so slightly off. The Doctor gets asked to come up with a solution to a problem that would normally involve a hell of a lot of potential deaths, and of course, he’s able to find a viable solution that would cause no deaths whatsoever. I personally love the fact that the Doctor, Lucie and ourselves have no real idea what Hulbert Logistics actually does, as it allows your imagination to go slightly haywire with what it could be that they’re doing. Eddie Robson really knows how to tease his listeners with this script.
Both Lucie and Karen are swiftly fired and removed from the office, and it seems that the office itself is more than meets the eye. The office doesn’t even seem to be on Earth. Oh, and it has legs. And weapons. And it’s walking about. You know, typical office stuff.
There’s a bit of an exposition dump in the third act, which gives you insight into some of the lore, of what’s been going on at the company, what they do, and what happens to the people like Lucie and Karen, who get “fired”. We also get a bit of an exposition dump with the Doctor too, learning more about how exactly Hulbert Logistics operates, and their clientele.
The ending of Human Resources- Part 1 is really bloody good to be honest; the Doctor attempts to bring fore Hulbert Logistics from the inside, allowing the enemy to get into the office and make it a fair fight. There’s only one problem though; exactly who the enemy is…
Overall, Human Resources- Part 1 is a great start to the finale, there’s plenty of time to get to know the main cast, as well as explaining the intricacies of the story. As always, the Doctor and Lucie are written superbly, and Sheridan and Paul are both once again the standouts. With the threat of invasion from a familiar foe, I can’t wait to listen to the second part soon…
Should you want to purchase Human Resources- Part 1, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £8.99 for the download, or £10.99 for the CD.