The Seventh Doctor and his companion Catherine find themselves
on a far-flung world where Time Lords and their associates
are persecuted as witches and warlocks. The Doctor is arrested
by the Inquisition. His only hope for rescue lies with Cat,
but she has her own demons to face...
McCoy's Doctor seems to be getting a lot of new assistants
lately. In the webcast drama Death Comes to Time (a
coincidental similarity to which is apologised for in an authors'
note at the back of the book) he was accompanied by Antimony.
Later in 2004, he will be joined in his Big Finish audio adventures
by Hex, played by Philip Oliver. As Companion Piece
commences, he is already travelling with Catherine, or Cat
despite the crucial role Cat plays in the novella (as its
title would suggest), Robert Perry and Mike Tucker don't quite
manage to set her apart from the Seventh Doctor's previous
companions. She is brave and likes to leap into action in
the Time Lord's defence, just like Ace, and she suffers from
a vice, in this case smoking, as opposed to Benny's drinking.
She seems to exist solely to provide a dramatic ending to
The book also deals with religion, in particular the less
pleasant aspects of it: xenophobia, intolerance and persecution,
as demonstrated by a futuristic version of the Holy Inquisition.
The setting may be the 28th century, and the instrument of
torture a device for bringing on regenerations in Time Lords,
but the fearful and angry mobs, the burning pyres and the
dank dungeons all hark back to much earlier times. In these
days of hostility and suspicion towards fundamentalism in
the Middle East, it's well worth being reminded about the
cruel acts that have been committed in the name of Jesus Christ.
In order to demonstrate that they are not against faith per
se, just certain manifestations of organised religion, the
authors also throw in a "nice" religious character: the elderly
Patriarch Julian, though he does come across as being the
exception rather than the rule.
Piece is far from God awful, but I have read better, both
from Telos Publishing and from Perry and Tucker.
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