fifth in the latest series of talking books called doctor who: the companion chronicles. these are doctor who stories read by an actor who played one of the doctors companions on tv, telling an untold story for the character.
they run for roughly seventy minutes, split into two episodes. the reader will voice all characters save one other who is done by another voice actor. and the main reader will usually do fairly decent takes on how the other main characters in the story, such as the doctor or any other companions, would have spoken.
this story features jean marsh returning the role of sara kingdom, who was a short lived companion on tv to the first doctor who. she appeared midway through a twelve part story and died at the end of it. and this story is set during a gap between two episodes of that one.
the disc begins with a trailer for the forthcoming next release in the range - but doesnt say what it's title is - and has a seven and a half minute interview on the last track with the two main actors and the director.
the story involves a man travelling to a lonely house in the fens, and meeting a lady called miss kingdom there. she has a tale to tell him. that he wants to hear. about the doctor and steven and sara and the time they visited the house. and what happened when they did.
thus a lot of the story involves a conversation between miss kingdom and the man, who is voiced by the other actor, and when we get to the story of what happened when the doctor visited, she relates it to him.
this strives hard for atmosphere, trying to have miss kingdom describe the events as if it were a dream, and this plus the constant return to the characters having the conversation do mean the first episode is a bit slow to get going. but it's just about intriguing enough to make you want to know what happens next. the atmosphere is quite effective also.
part two does eventually deliver, answering the big question 'how can sara be here when she died?' in a clever manner, and allowing her to have, as happens in a few of these stories, a bit of an epiphany as well. the end is very nicely done, and has a moral dilemma that gives you food for thought.
a release that will probably benefit from more than one listen. it's slow to get going, but it's well worth it in the end
on 16 April 2009
Like a Machen ghost story, this is a note perfect, compact tale that is an absolute joy to listen to. It will want you leaving more Companion Chronicles with Sara Kingdom thanks to the incredibly strong performance by Jean Marsh. The series best of this Big Finish cashflow improver.