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Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv return to the role to read an all new story for their character.
They usually do all the narration and read all voices save one, which is done by a guest actor.
And the usual format for these is a story complete in two parts, on a single cd.
This one sees William Russell return to the role of Ian Chesterton, who he played opposite William Hartnell's Doctor, back in the early days of the show.
The story sees the TARDIS land in 19th century Siberia, just as a shooting star comes to the ground.
Also in the area is a travelling religious man called Grigory. As he and the time travellers get to know each other, they find that the shooting star poses danger in two very different ways. To aliens such as the Doctor and Susan. And to the whole human race.
There are also strange beings nearby looking to recover it. And it's all down to Ian to save the day...
William Russell has a superb voice when it comes to doing this kind of thing and he is once again a pleasure to listen to. It's a very atmospheric script that captures the feel of the setting incredibly well, and makes the point nicely that Ian and Barbara are wanderers in space and time. Grigory is very well characterised and superbly brought to life by guest actor Tim Chipping's performance.
You may think you've quickly worked out what's going on - and you might get that impression from looking at the cd cover - but the nature of the threat that the shooting star poses isn't what you may think. And is a very original idea.
The one flaw with part one is that whilst it builds nicely, it does feel about five minutes too long.
This is not a fault with part two, which brings more surprises, a superbly created and rather threatening race of aliens. And yet it does seemingly solve the nature of the threat a little too quickly.
But the final third of the episode, which comes right after all that is dealt with, is strong character stuff for Ian. Which flirts interestingly with tv continuity. And is really very nice.
Part two is stronger than part one, but this is a memorable tale that's very well written and acted, and a well above average entry in this range.
There's a trailer for the next companion chronicle on the track after the end of part two.
And just under nine minutes of entertaining chat with cast and crew after that.