Who's the dummy?,
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles Solitaire (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who Companion Chronicle. These are a series of talking books that have an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story with one other guest actor performing one of the roles. They are complete in two thirty minute long episodes on one disc.
But this one, as they do on occasion, breaks the format. It features India Fisher returning to the role of Charley, companion to the eighth doctor and then the sixth in a great many other audio stories. And it's a full cast drama without any narration.
Still the same cast size as usual for the range though because in addition to Charley there's only one other character. The Doctor's old foe immortal and supremely powerful games playing mandarin the Celestial Toymaker. Here played as he was in The Nightmare Fair (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories).
This story takes place in between two of Charley's earlier adventures Embrace the Darkness (Doctor Who) and The Time of the Daleks (Doctor Who) and follows a classic drama style of being a long scene with just a pair of actors. Although there is an episode break and cliffhanger midway through.
Charley finds herself in a toyshop. With no idea who she is or how she got there. There are ventroloquists dolls who yell deadly warnings. One of them wears a cravat and looks very bohemian. And the strange owner of the shop utters strange riddles and wants her to play a game. She has no idea what the rules are.
Things proceed like this throughout, but what could be frustrating isn't because the script moves along at just the right pace and reveals the right amount of information at the right points. You never know where the story is going to go next. Especially after the surprising resolution to the cliffhanger, which takes things in a whole new direction and adds new elements to both characters.
Resolution is finally achieved and there are great character moments as a result. And the final scene could be predictable but it ends on such a great note that it doesn't matter at all.
It's a play that will benefit from repeated listening as you need to keep your wits about you at all times. But it's such a good way that that should be a worthwile exercise.
This is a highly recommended release.
There's a trailer for the next companion chronicle at the start of the disc and twelve minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end. Regular big finish listeners will find some exciting news about the future of a certain character in the middle of these, so do listen to them as well.