on 3 July 2015
Not one of the better Companion Chronicles - you can see why it never made it to the small screen. The whole idea's rather silly, though it's well enough read/acted. It's probably heresy to say this, but I was watching the show in the Sixties and was old enough to have some measure of critical faculties, and it's my view that great actor though Patrick Troughton was....arguably the best ever to play the Doctor....the scripts, companions and production values were not great. I'm enjoying a lot of these Big Finish audios featuring the Second Doctor, enjoying many of them more than the show itself, but this is one I won't be listening to again.
this is the latest release in the third season of doctor who: the companion chronicles. a series of talking books in which an actor who played a companion to doctor who on tv returns to their role to read a new story of an adventure for the companion and their doctor. the usual format of these is to have a story complete on one disc, in two long episodes, with the performer reading the story in character, and another voice actor performing one other role in the story.
this time it's the turn for deborah watling to reprise the role of victoria waterfield, who she played alongside patrick troughton's doctor in the 1960's. her particular era of the show is famous for what they called 'base under siege' stories, and this is a homage to that style. the tardis crew visit near future earth, where a huge elevator based in sumatra leads all the way up to a space station high above. something has taken over the station, and it has deadly plans for earth. can the doctor save the day?
this succeeds very well indeed at recreating the style of the era, with cold scientist characters in a futuristic base, and some scary moments from a nasty monster. all the regular characters are very well written indeed and well in character. deborah watling reads the story playing victoria as a lady of mature years, and she has a good voice that's nice to listen to. usually in this series the reader has tried to impersonate the voice of the other characters, but she doesn't do that here, and that works perfectly well because they're written so well in character that it's not a problem.
each episode runs for roughly thirty eight minutes, and that is a little on the slow side at times pacing wise, but the nature of the story is always driving the narrative forward, so it's not as much of a problem as it has been in a few other releases in the range.
the final track on the disc has a short preview clip for the forthcoming third story in this season, featuring katy manning reprising the role of the third doctor's companion jo grant.
this could do with being slightly shorter, but all in all it's an excellent attempt to recapture the style of the time, and an entertaining listen