The world faces imminent destruction when Italy win the 1982 World Cup! Can the fabled Time Lord Charleyostiantayshius save humanity from the dreaded Threllip Empire, or will her idiot companion, the Doctor, ruin everything?
At only 20 minutes long, this story is a bit different and quite difficult to review. It seems to fit logically between Invaders from Mars and Seasons of Fear as a short 20 minute adventure for the Eighth Doctor and Charley before everything escalates towards Neverland and Zagreus. As such, it’s not essential listening, but as it is free and quite a lot of fun, I would recommend giving it a listen.
Whilst short, this story does have some nice moments fbetween the Doctor and Charley and the chemistry between Paul McGann and India Fisher is evident. The story revolves around the Doctor and Charley switching places, with Charley becoming the Doctor-like role and the Doctor playing her companion and in a story that is largely light hearted, there are nice moments of them both mocking the Time Lords and their garb. The alien species, the Threllips are also played largely for laughs, with both actors using West Country accents.
As mentioned, the story is quite light and fun. Unlike other alien invasions in Doctor Who, the invasion is foiled quite comically. The Doctor takes Vengorr to the Italian village of Ferrara where the citizens are celebrating their World Cup win and convinces the alien that he has contracted World Cup Fever, whilst Charley tells Thon that he goes down as a mere footnote in Vengorr’s history. It is difficult to imagine a story being televised where the Doctor convincing an antagonist that the only way to cure the fever is to drink a copious amount of wine. I think if this was a full four part storyline played in the same way it would really grate on me, but as it is, it works really nicely. It is perhaps surprising that Scott Gray has not been asked back to write for the Eighth Doctor again.
Verdict: A fun interlude before the story delves into the Web of Time, Living Legend is a nice fun story. 7/10
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), India Fisher (Charley Pollard), Stephen Perring (Vengorr) & Conrad Westmaas (Thon)
Writer: Scott Gray
Director: Gary Russell
Behind the Scenes
- This story was released with Doctor Who Magazine issue 337, along with a documentary about the making of the 40th anniversary story, Zagreus.
- Stephen Perring has appeared in a number of Big Finish audio stories, with his most prominent roles being the Kro’ka during the Eighth Doctor’s time in the Divergent Universe and Mathias in the Gallifrey audio series.
- Conrad Westmaas was also heavily involved in the Eighth Doctor’s audios as companion C’rizz.
Previous Eighth Doctor review: Invaders from Mars