ninth in the latest series of companion chronicles, a series of talking books featuring an actor who played a companion to doctor who on tv returning to the role for an all new story.
as with the rest of the range this runs for roughly sixty minutes and is spread across one disc in two episodes. there's a trailer for the next in the range at the beginning of the disc and a ten minute long interview with cast and crew at the end.
this time it's the turn of anneke wills, who played polly opposite william hartnell and patrick troughton's doctor in the 1960's. another common feature of this range is that there will be one other speaking part in the story, played by a guest actor. this also happens here.
the story features the second doctor and polly and jamie and ben landing in france in 1944. swiftly realising they're in a very dangerous time they aim to leave quickly but are separated. polly and the doctor, in addition to finding the missing ben and jamie, must travel across occupied france. making contact with a lifeline, a group of resistance fighters who help downed allied airmen get out of the country, they have a chance to survive. but can they get to safety? will they find ben and jamie? who can they trust?
and will polly, in a desire to do the right thing, change history?
like some of the 1960's doctor who stories this is a purely historical story with no science fiction elements other than the tardis and the doctor. there's a real sense of jeopardy facing the characters, and the script does manage a couple of very decent twists and turns. you can't take any of the other characters for granted.
as with a few others in this range it's also about the effect things have on the main character, in this case polly's desire to do the right thing and make a difference. and that becomes key to the plot in the end. this also leads to a very nice scene between her and the doctor towards the end of part two.
anneke wills has a very nice voice and is a pleasure to listen to.
as a whole though this story is very good rather than great. It does what it sets out to do very well but it's lacking that certain something which makes it a classic. still, it's a good story all in all and a solid entry in the series.
on 23 August 2009
Big Finish have been producing some excellent 'Doctor Who' audio adventures for some years now. Recently they created a clever new series in these Companion Chronicles. They enable Big Finish to create new adventures for Doctors unable or unwilling to appear. So we can have new Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee adventures read by the actors playing their companions.
This is particularly welcome for one of my favourite Doctors Patrick Throughton as most of his Doctor Who adventures don't survive in the archives. Resistance features Anneke Wills in her role as sixties dolly bird assistant Polly. Anneke really brings the characters of Polly, The Doctor, Jamie and Ben to life. Resistance is close in spirit to The Highlanders, an historical adventure in a wartime setting, this time the second world war.
It has an epic and exciting feel to it and made for a very pleasing listen in the car on the way to work. Hopefully Anneke Wills can be persuaded to read more new adventures for this neglected era of the Second Doctor.
One of the best in the series so far. I can also recommend The Great Space Elevator read by Debbie Watling and the two autobiographies by Anneke Wills, Naked and Self Portrait if you enjoy this release. I can certainly recommend it and them.