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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious & Wonderfully Intriguing Companion Chronicle, 6 Nov. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Cheats (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
The Memory Cheats (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles).
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companion(s): Jamie, Zoe
Main setting: Uzbekistan, Central Asia, August 1919
Writer: Simon Guerrier
Director: Lisa Bowerman
Release number: 6.03
2 - Episodes - 1 x CD
Running Time 60 Minutes

Coming Soon Trailer
Behind The Scenes Interviews

Zoe Heriot - Wendy Padbury
Jen - Charlie Hayes

1)The Bolsheviks have recently seized power in Uzbekistan.
2)The Doctor poses as a Soviet official sent from Moscow to investigate the disappearance of several Uzbek children. He is consequently referred to as "the Comrade Doctor" throughout Lansing's report to the British government.
3)Jamie plays football for the first time in his life, with several Uzbek children.
4)This story's title is a quote commonly attributed to John Nathan-Turner, who was describing what he saw as fans' tendency to improve memories of older Doctor Who episodes which they hadn't rewatched for some time or which had been lost.
5)The story has an ending similar to that of the 1995 film The Usual Suspects.
6/Zoe tells Jen that she considered stowing away on the Tardis & is unsure as to why she did not. (TV: The Wheel in Space).
7)Zoe & Jen both mention Ali. (AUDIO: Echoes of Grey).
8)Jen refers to the lock placed on Zoe's mind by the Time Lords. (TV: The War Games).

What's Up Doc?
Zoe Heriot remembers everything. But she remembers nothing.

A genius with instant recall, Zoe's mind has been purged of her memories of travelling with the Doctor & Jamie in the Tardis & years later she is in deep trouble, prosecuted by the mysterious company that has evidence that she has travelled in Space & Time.

Except Zoe knows they're wrong aren't they?

But if that's the case, why is there proof that Zoe was in Uzbekistan in 1919, Can the memory cheat?

Timelord Thoughts.
Zoe Heriot is facing criminal charges & possible execution as she continues to insist that she never travelled with a alien known as the Doctor.

Zoe is forced however to remember a story as part of her trial as she recalls an adventure in Uzbekistan in 1919 were missing children are vanishing from their beds at night by a sinister creature whilst their families all slept in the same room.

Writer Simon Guerrier adds great mystery, intrigue who builds up a great atmosphere to his story that's a adventure of two halves as we see Zoe in her present predicament & her past adventure when she travelled with the Second Doctor & Jamie, both these arc's compliment each other superbly & both make for a interesting narrative.

Wendy Padbury's narration of The Memory Cheats is a stunning dramatic read who reprises Zoe wonderfully & adds some grit to the character & also manages to capture the quirky mannerisms of the Second Doctor & Jamie, while guest actor Charlie Hayes does well as the character Jen, Charlie Hayes is in fact Wendy's daughter as both mother & daughter share a great chemistry here which adds a certain dynamic to the overall tone of the story.

The Memory Cheats is a solid written story by writer Simon Guerrier & the first story ever where Zoe is actually used to her full potential as Guerrier paces Zoe's present & present storys together with great effect & creates a feeling of paranoia of just who can we trust.

Richard Fox & Lauren Yason music score & sound design combined once again with solid tight direction by Lisa Bowerman keeps the plays tone atmospheric & intriguing while keeping the listener engaged as the events of Zoe's trial slowly unfold as we start unravelling the mystery of who is behind all this & why they are determined to make Zoe remember the Doctor.

Overall, The Memory Cheats is another well written & performed Companion Chronicles tale that delivers a wonderful mysterious story together with clever structural storytelling of Zoe's past & present that could lead to a very uncertain future for this former Doctor Who companion.

Timelord Rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comrade Doctor investigates, 23 Oct. 2011
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Memory Cheats (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new tale for their character.

They do all the voices save for one which is done by a guest actor.

And they run for two episodes and are complete on a single cd.

This one sees the return of Wendy Padbury to the role of Zoe, whom she played alongside Patrick Troughton's Doctor back in the 1960's.

The two episodes of this one are thirty seven and twenty seven minutes long [approx].

And it follows on from earlier Zoe companion chronicle Echoes of Grey (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) which dealt with Zoe sometime after her travels in the TARDIS came to an end, and her memories of them were wiped. A zoe who seemed to be missing something from her life. And then met someone who had memories of encountering her when she travelled with the Doctor. All of which caused problems for Zoe because she doesn't recall any of it ever happening.

This story follows on from that. It begins with Zoe finding herself imprisoned by the mysterious company and being interrogated by a lady called Jen [played by Charlie Hayes, Wendy Padbury's daughter]. Zoe faces charges. And the only way to avoid conviction may be to tell the interrogator - all this is established in a five minute long opening scene which means it does take a little while to get going - about what really happened when Zoe and the Doctor and Jamie visited Uzbekistan in 1919.

Still part of Russia in those days, they visited a village where the inhabitants lived in fear. Because their children were going missing. And they were awaiting the arrival of a secret policeman from Moscow to investigate. With the Doctor having convinced the locals that he's the investigator, he and friends set out to find what lurks in the nearby hills.

But what will happen when the real investigator turns up?

And will Zoe tell the interrogator what she wants to hear?

The sections set in 1919 are superbly written. They create a wonderful sense of atmosphere and time and place. And the characterisations of the TARDIS crew are spot on. The framing device of the conversation between Zoe and the interrogator does get a bit distracting at first, but you do get used to it.

Although at over thirty seven minutes this episode does feel slightly overlong in the middle.

But there's a rather shocking cliffhanger which really grabs the attention.

Part two is just over ten minutes shorter, and it brings the historical strand of the story to a conclusion in a very interesting manner. Then the framing device really comes into play because the final few minutes are really very clever. Very ambivalent. And not desperately conclusive, but that doesn't really matter so much. Because the key of the story is to ask a certain question about Zoe. And to make the listener realise the answer to it might not be a simple one.

Thus there's not a clear ending to this. Hopefully Zoe will be back for a future one because this ia a clever and interesting piece of work, and it will make you want to know what happens to her next.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range after the end of part two.

And roughly ten minutes of interviews with cast and crew after that. This is the first time Wendy Padbury has been in one of these interviews, so it's well worth a listen.
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The Memory Cheats (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Memory Cheats (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Simon Guerrier (Audio CD - 30 Sept. 2011)
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