The Doctor and Lucie are entangled with a rogue time traveller named Zimmerman who escapes, leaving them at the mercy of an group of angry aliens, bent on finding the cause of the time trouble, no matter the cost. But when the Doctor and Lucie finally catch up to Zimmerman, they find him happily married and enjoying a garden party that seems to go on forever. Only Zimmerman can end the time loop and thereby save the space/time continuum. But even though he has denounced his former life, he is disinclined to help, as ending the time loop would cause the death of his beloved wife, leading to a standstill between the Doctor, Zimmerman and the Tar-Modowk, who get ever closer.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Nigel Havers (Nick), Julia McKenzie (Rachel), Tom Chadbon (Gordon), Tim Hudson (Tar-Modowk Leader), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter)
Notes: Tom Chadbon previously appeared in the Doctor Who stories City Of Death and The Mysterious Planet, as well as playing a major role in the second “season” of Sarah Jane Smith audios, also produced by Big Finish Productions.
Timeline: after Phobos and before Human Resources Part 1
LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey
Review: No More Lies takes the interesting tack of starting off mid-story, with the Doctor and Lucie on the run from some bad guys. While this gives the story a somewhat different perspective, it also makes it a bit more convoluted than it needed to be. In fact, I had to start over about half-way through because, frankly, I got lost. I think it was meant to tie into the “time loop” thingie, but with only audio to go by, the story just can’t hang together as well as it could have.
The story itself is fine, a bit more original than most this “season”. Time loops are nothing new, of course, but the use here is where it stands out. It makes the story be less about the loop itself and more about how it could possibly change the people in it. The problem is, the story is ultimately very straightforward and it only fills out the hour through the use of the funky time shifts and running around.
The cast is certainly game enough. It’s a strange place for a man of Nigel Havers’ stature to make his Doctor Who debut, but its a pretty good character for him. It allows him to play the dutiful lover, the evil villain and the debonair romantic all in the course of one performance. The rest are fine, but only Havers gets a real chance to shine. Rachel is a decent enough character, but most of the others are stock figures with little to reccomend, And again, McGann and Smith are outshone, seemingly relegated to playing out the string here. They spend most of their time either with the aforementioned running around or trying to convice other people to do things. They aren’t very proactive.
On the other hand, Zimmerman’s character arc is one of the best I’ve seen since Pete Tyler’s in Father’s Day. Though not up to that one’s level, No More Lies still has a strong story with excellent principal performances to back it up. It just may take an extra listen or two for it to all make perfect sense. A pity it’s spoiled at the end by the untimely arrival of a not-so-welcome figure from previous episodes. (Wanna guess who?)