Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 26 December 2013
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books, which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story for their character.
They do all the voices save one, which is read by a guest actor.
The stories are usually complete in two parts, on a single cd.
In this one, Carole Ann Ford returns to the role of Susan, whom she played opposite William Hartnell back during the very first year of the show.
The two episodes of this release run for thirty three and twenty eight minutes respectively. [Approx].
And it's a prequel to the show itself. Plus the couple of other stories that this range has done which have taken place before the first tv story.
This one tells the story of what happens to the Doctor and his Granddaughter right after they leave Gallifrey.
They visit a strange world. Meet some very strange aliens. And a man called Quadrigger Stoyn. Who has been brought along for the ride in the TARDIS. He's not very happy about it...
Licensed fiction can't ever do anything to change established continuity. Nor can it create new continuity. Thus those who are looking for the full story as to why the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place will not find the answers they are looking for here. This one starts with him and Susan in the process of getting a TARDIS.
Mind you licensed fiction can reference established continuity, so you will find a couple of fan pleasing moments early on. They fit in very nicely with the narrative without being at all obtrusive.
The script and the reading manages to convey superbly, via Susan's viewpoint, what she goes through. The danger of the escape, the feeling of being inside a strange machine. And then of finding they have the freedom to go wherever and whenever they want.
Their first landing is also superbly conveyed.
Stoyn is a solid character, ably voiced by Who stalwart Terry Molloy, who does very well at portraying the shock, anger, confusion and all other attendant feelings of a man suddenly taken out of the life he knows.
Once all this is done the story then kicks in, as the travellers meet some strange aliens. It's not quite as compelling once we get into this, and the final third of part one isn't quite on a par with what has come before. The first half of part two gets very complex thanks to what happens in the cliffhanger, and you need to work at it hard to follow what is going on.
For a lot of part two it's hard to see where the story is going to go. But then it pulls itself together very nicely. Many in this range have involved epiphanies and foreshadowing, and this does that. Explaining a few things about the two main characters along the way.
This isn't quite a five star release because it's not as good in the middle third as what comes before and after. It does have one loose end which will be dealt with in the next companion chronicle. But it has some very good moments. So it is worth a listen.
There's a trailer for the aforementioned next release on the cd track after the end of part two.
And just under ten minutes or so of interviews with various cast and crew on the track after that.