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Doctor Who Main Range: The High Price of Parking: No. 227 - A Review and Analysis

Doctor Who Main Range: The High Price of Parking: No. 227 John Dorney

Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television series that follows the adventures of a mysterious alien known as the Doctor, who travels through time and space in his blue police box called the TARDIS. The Doctor usually has one or more companions who accompany him on his journeys and help him save various worlds from evil forces.

Doctor Who Main Range: The High Price of Parking: No. 227 John Dorney

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Doctor Who Main Range is a series of audio dramas produced by Big Finish Productions, a company that specializes in creating original stories based on various franchises. The Main Range features stories that are set in different eras of Doctor Who, featuring different incarnations of the Doctor and his companions. The stories are usually released monthly on CD or digital download, and are considered by many fans to be part of the official canon of Doctor Who.

The High Price of Parking is one of the stories in the Main Range, released in August 2017. It features the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, who was also the Doctor on TV from 1987 to 1989. His companions are Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, a rebellious teenager from 1980s London who likes to blow things up, and Mel, played by Bonnie Langford, a cheerful computer programmer from 1980s Pease Pottage who likes to exercise. The story was written by John Dorney, a prolific writer for Big Finish who has also written for other series such as Torchwood and The Avengers.

The High Price of Parking is a story that takes place on Parking, a planet-sized spaceship park that orbits around Dashrah, a world of exceptional beauty. The Doctor, Ace and Mel arrive at Parking with the intention of taking a quick shuttle trip to Dashrah, but they soon find themselves caught up in a conflict between two factions: the Wardens, who enforce strict rules and regulations on Parking, and their robotic servitors, called Parkers; and the Free Parkers, who rebel against the Wardens and live in hidden underground bases. Along the way, they also discover that Dashrah is not what it seems, and that Parking has a dark and mysterious origin that could threaten the whole galaxy.

Plot Summary

The story begins with the TARDIS materializing in Parking's Northern Hemisphere, where thousands of spaceships are parked in neat rows. The Doctor, Ace and Mel are greeted by a friendly Parker named Zaal, who scans their TARDIS and assigns them a parking space. Zaal also informs them that they need to pay a parking fee of 1000 credits per hour, which they can pay at any terminal or online. The Doctor is outraged by this extortionate price, but decides to pay it anyway so they can take a shuttle to Dashrah.

However, as they make their way to the shuttle station, they encounter several obstacles. First, they are stopped by a Warden named Quarkum, who demands to see their parking permit. The Doctor shows him the permit that Zaal gave them, but Quarkum claims that it is invalid and tries to arrest them. The Doctor manages to trick Quarkum and escape with his companions, but not before Quarkum activates a tracker on the permit. Second, they are attacked by a group of Free Parkers, who mistake them for Wardens and try to steal their TARDIS. The Doctor convinces them that they are not Wardens, but also not Free Parkers, and that they just want to leave Parking. The Free Parkers let them go, but warn them that the Wardens are after them and that they should join their cause. Third, they are chased by a swarm of Parkers, who have been alerted by Quarkum's tracker and are programmed to destroy any unauthorized vehicles. The Doctor, Ace and Mel manage to evade the Parkers and reach the shuttle station, only to find out that the shuttle service has been suspended due to a security alert.

The Doctor decides to use his sonic screwdriver to hack into the shuttle system and activate one of the shuttles. He, Ace and Mel board the shuttle and take off, hoping to reach Dashrah before the Wardens catch up with them. However, as they approach Dashrah, they notice something strange: the planet is covered by a thick layer of clouds that obscures its surface. The Doctor scans the planet and discovers that it is actually a hollow shell, with nothing inside but a massive engine. He realizes that Dashrah is not a natural planet, but a giant spaceship that was disguised as a planet by the people who built Parking.

The Doctor also finds out that Dashrah's engine is unstable and about to explode, which would destroy Parking and everything else in the vicinity. He decides to land on Dashrah and try to stop the explosion, despite Ace and Mel's protests. They land on a platform near the engine, where they are confronted by Quarkum, who has followed them in another shuttle. Quarkum reveals that he is not a real Warden, but an undercover agent of the Galactic Council, a powerful interstellar organization that oversees the affairs of many planets. He explains that he was sent to investigate Parking and Dashrah, which were created by an ancient civilization called the Drahvins. The Drahvins were a warlike race that conquered many worlds and enslaved many races, until they were defeated by the Galactic Council. The Drahvins fled to Dashrah, where they built Parking as a way of hiding their presence and collecting resources from unsuspecting visitors. However, over time, the Drahvins died out, leaving behind only their machines and their secrets.

Quarkum says that he has been trying to find out how to deactivate Dashrah's engine, which was set to self-destruct by the Drahvins as a final act of revenge. He also says that he has been sabotaging the Wardens and the Free Parkers, who are both descendants of slaves that the Drahvins brought to Parking. He believes that neither faction deserves to inherit Parking or Dashrah, as they are both corrupted by their ancestors' legacy. He intends to destroy both Parking and Dashrah, along with anyone who tries to stop him.

The Doctor disagrees with Quarkum's plan, and argues that the Wardens and the Free Parkers have a right to live and choose their own destiny. He also says that he can stop Dashrah's engine without destroying it, if Quarkum gives him access to the control panel. Quarkum refuses to trust the Doctor, and tries to shoot him with his laser gun. However, Ace intervenes and knocks Quarkum out with her baseball bat. The Doctor then uses his sonic screwdriver to access the control panel and deactivate Dashrah's engine.

As Dashrah's engine shuts down, the clouds around it dissipate, revealing its true nature as a spaceship. The Doctor contacts Zaal on his communicator and tells him what has happened. Zaal is shocked by the revelation, but also grateful for the Doctor's help. He says that he will inform both the Wardens and the Free Parkers about Dashrah's secret, and hopes that they can work together to create a new society on Parking. He also says that he will waive the Doctor's parking fee as a gesture of thanks.

The Doctor, Ace and Mel return to their TARDIS and prepare to leave Parking. They are joined by Quarkum, who has regained consciousness and surrendered his weapon. The Doctor says that he will take Quarkum back to the Galactic Council, where he will face justice for his actions. Quarkum accepts his fate, but asks the Doctor why he spared him and saved Parking. The Doctor says that he believes in mercy and compassion, even for his enemies. He also says that he likes Parking, despite its flaws, and hopes that it will become a better place in the I'll continue to create that. Here is the rest of the article with HTML formatting: Themes and Analysis

The High Price of Parking is a story that explores several themes and ideas that are relevant to Doctor Who and to contemporary society. One of the main themes is the contrast between freedom and authority, and the moral dilemmas that arise from both. The Wardens represent a rigid and oppressive system that imposes strict rules and regulations on Parking, but also provides order and security. The Free Parkers represent a rebellious and anarchic movement that challenges the Wardens' authority, but also causes chaos and violence. The Doctor, as usual, finds himself in the middle of this conflict, trying to find a balance between the two extremes. He sympathizes with the Free Parkers' desire for freedom, but also criticizes their methods and their ignorance of Dashrah's secret. He opposes the Wardens' tyranny, but also acknowledges their role in maintaining Parking's stability. He ultimately tries to mediate between the two factions, and to persuade them to cooperate for their common good.

Another theme that the story touches upon is the impact of consumerism and environmental degradation on society and nature. Parking is a planet-sized spaceship park that was created by the Drahvins as a way of exploiting other races and planets for their resources. The Drahvins charged exorbitant fees for parking spaces, and used the money to fund their war efforts. They also used Dashrah's engine to power Parking, without caring about the consequences of its instability. The result is a wasteful and unsustainable system that threatens to destroy itself and everything around it. The Doctor, who has always been an advocate for environmental protection and conservation, is appalled by this situation, and tries to stop Dashrah's explosion and to expose Parking's true nature. He also tries to educate the Wardens and the Free Parkers about their planet's history and origin, and to encourage them to respect and appreciate Dashrah's beauty.

A third theme that the story examines is the Doctor's role as a mediator and a rebel in different situations. The Doctor is known for being a renegade Time Lord who travels through time and space, helping people in need and fighting evil forces. He often acts as a mediator between different parties, using his intelligence, charisma and compassion to resolve conflicts peacefully. He also often acts as a rebel against oppressive regimes, using his cunning, courage and humor to undermine their authority. In this story, he displays both aspects of his personality, depending on the circumstances. He mediates between the Wardens and the Free Parkers, trying to find a peaceful solution to their dispute. He rebels against Quarkum and his plan to destroy Parking and Dashrah, trying to save both planets from annihilation. He also mediates between Quarkum and the Galactic Council, trying to ensure that Quarkum faces justice for his crimes. He rebels against the Drahvins and their legacy, trying to reveal their secrets and end their influence.

Reception and Reviews

The High Price of Parking received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans who praised its originality, humor and character development. Some of the positive comments include:

- "The High Price of Parking is a fun romp that manages to balance comedy with drama, action with mystery, and satire with commentary." (Doctor Who Reviews) - "The High Price of Parking is a clever story that plays with expectations and delivers some surprising twists." (Sci-Fi Bulletin) - "The High Price of Parking is a brilliant story that showcases John Dorney's talent for writing witty dialogue, engaging characters and intriguing plots." (Blogtor Who) - "The High Price of Parking is a enjoyable story that features some great performances from Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Bonnie Langford." (Doctor Who Magazine) However, some reviewers also pointed out some flaws or weaknesses in the story. Some of the negative comments include:

- "The High Price of Parking is a bit too long and repetitive, with some scenes dragging on or being unnecessary." (CultBox) - "The High Price of Parking is a bit too silly and absurd, with some jokes falling flat or being overdone." (Doctor Who Online) - "The High Price of Parking is a bit too predictable and clichéd, with some twists being obvious or unoriginal." (The Digital Fix) - "The High Price of Parking is a bit too preachy and moralistic, with some messages being heavy-handed or simplistic." (The Time Scales) Overall, The High Price of Parking is a well-received story that offers a fresh and entertaining take on the Doctor Who universe. It is considered by many fans to be one of the best stories in the Main Range, and one of the best stories featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Mel.


The High Price of Parking is a story that combines humor, action, mystery and drama in a creative and engaging way. It features the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Mel in a planet-sized spaceship park that hides a dark and dangerous secret. It explores themes such as freedom, authority, morality, consumerism and environmentalism. It also showcases the Doctor's role as a mediator and a rebel in different situations. It is a story that appeals to both old and new fans of Doctor Who, and that deserves to be listened to by anyone who enjoys science fiction and adventure.

If you are interested in listening to The High Price of Parking, you can buy it from Big Finish Productions' website or from Amazon. You can also listen to a trailer or a sample of the story on their website. You can also check out other stories in the Main Range, featuring different Doctors and companions. You can also read more reviews or leave your own review on their website or on other platforms.

Here are some trivia or fun facts about The High Price of Parking:

- The title of the story is a reference to the phrase "the high price of living", which means the difficulties or hardships that one has to endure in life. - The story was originally conceived as a sequel to another Main Range story called The One Doctor, which featured the Sixth Doctor and Mel in a parody of Doctor Who. However, the idea was changed to feature the Seventh Doctor and Ace instead, and to have a more serious tone. - The story features several references or homages to other science fiction works, such as Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf and Futurama. - The story also features several references or jokes about parking, such as parking tickets, parking meters, parking spaces, parking attendants, parking fines and parking wars. FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about The High Price of Parking:

- Q: Who are the Drahvins and why are they important? - A: The Drahvins are an alien race that appeared in a classic Doctor Who TV story called Galaxy 4, which featured the First Doctor. They were a warlike race that had a matriarchal society and enslaved other races. They were also the creators of Parking and Dashrah, and the ancestors of the Wardens and the Free Parkers. - Q: What is the Galactic Council and what is its role? - A: The Galactic Council is an interstellar organization that oversees the affairs of many planets and races. It is similar to the United Nations or the Federation in Star Trek. It is also the employer of Quarkum, who was sent to investigate Parking and Dashrah. - Q: What is the sonic screwdriver and how does it work? - A: The sonic screwdriver is a device that the Doctor uses for various purposes, such as opening doors, hacking computers, scanning objects or repairing machines. It works by emitting sonic waves that affect different materials or systems in different ways. - Q: What is the TARDIS and why is it special? - A: The TARDIS is the Doctor's spaceship and time machine. It stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It is special because it can travel to any point in time and space, and because it is bigger on the inside than on the outside. It also has a personality and a mind of its own. - Q: Who are the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Mel and what are their personalities? - A: The Seventh Doctor is one of the incarnations of the Doctor, who changes his appearance and personality when he dies or regenerates. He is a cunning and manipulative figure who likes to play chess and plan ahead. He also has a dark side that he sometimes shows. Ace is one of his companions, who is a rebellious and explosive teenager from 1980s London. She likes to blow things up with her homemade bombs, called Nitro-9. She also has a soft side that she sometimes shows. Mel is another one of his companions, who is a cheerful and optimistic computer programmer from 1980s Pease Pottage. She likes to exercise and eat healthy food. She also has a loud scream that she sometimes uses. 71b2f0854b


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