The First Doctor said it often enough: you can’t rewrite History or meddle with Time! In fact, you shouldn’t, but you can – and this is what happens when you do… Two rival kings at the same time is a problem; the same king at two rival Times is much, much worse… and it’s all the fault of his loyal supporter Jamie McCrimmon… 5* (2 episodes, 1 CD, 56 minutes + extras)
One day late in the 18th century, on a windswept moor somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland, a visitor from a certain Agency (the words ‘Intervention’; and ‘Celestial’ belong there too) has arrived to talk with a middle-aged piper. To help the conversation along, he restores the lost memories of the man who, in his youth, supported the ’45 Rising and fought at the battle of Culloden – and vanished in a strange blue box… or did he…?
Jonathan Morris’ ‘The Glorious Revolution’ is a terrific adventure in the ‘Companion Chronicles’ range. It’s an ‘educational’ historical in the classic style, a fun costume romp perfectly suited for the Second Doctor’s impish qualities and a dramatic temporal paradox story which illustrates exactly WHY the Doctor is so cautious about changing Earth’s history – while being prepared to turn every other planet upside down on a weekly basis. It’s all to do with being personal…
And the Glorious Revolution was certainly personal for Jamie. England in 1688 mostly celebrated the peaceful expulsion of the (Catholic) King James II (or James VII as Jamie calls him, as the Scots counted it) and his replacement by the (Protestants) William and Mary, and the transfer of more power from the monarch to Parliament and people.
But Scotland was bitterly divided by the event, and Jamie would be one of the Jacobites still fighting in the last defeat of James’ grandson at Culloden in 1746. How much simpler and better (for a loyal Jacobite) if you could somehow materialise 58 years earlier and help your king keep his throne… as the Doctor might say, “Oh, dear!”…
Frazer Hines is excellent as always as Jamie and uncannily good as Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor. Yes, that really is the one actor arguing and bantering with himself! He also plays all but two of the other characters, with a great range of voices and narrates the story with the energy and pace it deserves. Andrew Fettes puts in another great double performance as Jamie’s royal hero James II (sorry, VII !) and the mysterious Visitor (from Gallifrey of course) trying to sort out what went wrong with Time…
The script is full of nice details that recreate the feel of a classic Second Doctor story; he only appeared in one television historical, but this foray into history/ies is both the perfect prequel AND sequel to ‘The Highlanders’. (It’s complicated!) It’s a most entertaining, action-packed scramble through a 17th century London portrayed very well by a detailed script and Nigel Fairs’ excellent sound design and music.
With a complex plot, a memorable half-time cliff-hanger, layers of historical detail and Second Doctor and Jamie banter to pack in before the surprisingly poignant ending, there’s another temporal paradox at work here: was that really only 56 minutes? The CD player says so, but I don’t believe it! This feels like a much larger and very satisfying adventure.
Most highly recommended, put this CD in your player and enjoy its glorious revolutions! 5*
(11 minutes of very enjoyable documentary tracks follow the episodes and the CD insert has interesting writer’s and producer’s notes.)
on 11 April 2010
Modern Doctor Who would probably refer to The Glorius Revolution as "Timey - Wimey" featuring as it does Jamie travelling back in time and changing history. To counter this the Time Lords dispatch an agent to the Highlands of Scotland where he meets a Jamie who is forty years older than when he left the TARDIS at the end of The War Games. Restoring his lost memories the Time Lord agent must endeavour to find out where and when Jamie altered history.
Its a fascinating premise for a story and a premise upon which it delivers superbly. Jonathan Morris's script is excellent and coupled with Frazer Hines fantastic reading makes The Glorious Revolution one of the best Companion Chronicles yet. As has been noted before Frazer Hines impersonation of Patrick Troughton really does sound exactly like him, In one scene in particular it is easy to forget that when hearing The Doctor and Jamie arguing that they are both voiced by the same actor. The plot of The Glorious Revolution is an engaging one and zips along at pace and finishes with a very satisfactory ending. Its also nice to see Jamie regain his memory of his travels with the Doctor if only for a short time.
I highly recommend The Glorious Revolution to any Doctor Who fan, and if you haven't heard any Companion Chronicles before then you could certainly do a lot worse than to start with this one.
on 3 July 2015
Definitely one of the better Companion Chronicles - well acted/read, well researched & scripted, with unusual tit-bits about a largely forgotten (but terribly important) episode in the history of this country.
Jamie gets a chance to become involved in events that shaped his life in the eighteenth century, while there's plenty of scope for the sort of historical drama at which the BBC excelled in 1960s.
Good, three-dimensional performances by the guest actors, and Frazer Hines displaying his uncanny impersonation of Patrick Troughton's Doctor. Does this make him the Old or Young Pretender? I hope he gets two fees!
on 5 December 2011
My 33rd Companion Chronicle (a little out of sequence) and one that I am very impressed with. Frazer Hines engagingly tells a story told after The War Games (the final Troughton story and one where McCrimmon ultimately has his mind erased). It would be spoilers to say how this works, but it partly enables a story to be told on more than one level because a paradox is involved and ultimately resolved. It involves an arguably less well remembered Monarch and related pivotal events.
The story is very true to Jamie McCrimmon's character and the overall product strongly highlights a potential dual interpretation in the series title: "Companion Chronicles". It chronicles an adventure with far more involvement from the companion, and it is a very worthwhile companion to the Doctor Who 'television chronicles'.
I was quite amazed as just how good Frazer Hines can do Patrick Troughton's voice and his character's mannerisms. You really can enjoy their double act despite the same actor. There is also a second performer on the disc who does two completely different roles and again you would not notice.
A very welcome addition to the range, giving us something quite special to the overall Doctor Who canon, particularly with the ending.
on 12 January 2010
This was the first of the Companion Chronicles that I listened to, and all I can say is: wow. The plot is well written and thought out, and has a wonderfully clever time paradox. It begins with the second Doctor's former companion Jamie being visited by a mysterious stranger who wants to know about a visit that he, the Doctor and fellow companion Zoe paid to London when King James II is about to escape into exile, to be replaced by William of Orange. Jamie obviously has strong feelings about this, as it was eventually to lead to the Jacobite rebellion which is disturbing his own time, and obviously as a Jacobite he is on the side of James and not William. What follows is really gripping, and it makes use of Jamie's character in a very inventive and believable way. I particularly like the way that Johnathan Morris has the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe plunged into trouble practically as soon as they step out of the TARDIS - which, as all seasoned fans of both the classic and the modern series will know, happens quite a lot in Doctor Who! - and therefore doesn't give the listener a chance to get bored. After that, he doesn't let you go. He keeps the suspense and action fast paced, but not to the extent that you lose track of what's happening. I'm afraid I'm not very good on the period, but from what I know I think that he's created the flavour really well. He deals admirably with the fact that Jamie has lost all recollection of his travels with the Doctor after having his memory wiped by the Time Lords, and he makes the plot very interesting by bringing in the element that somehow, by telling the story to the visitor, Jamie is sorting out the rupture in history. It is, of course, a great bonus that the writer has got the characters of Jamie, the second Doctor and Zoe off to a tee, and also that Frazer Hines reads the story so well and does such a convincing impression of the second Doctor that you could swear Patrick Troughton was in the studio reading the Doctor's lines. The story concludes well and in a very satisfying way. Through the whole thing, it's surprising how vivid the story can become with two actors and basic sound effects. It just goes to show that big is not always better. In conclusion, with an almost flawless story, and such a talented actor as Frazer Hines reading it, which Doctor Who fan wouldn't want to buy this?
Second in the latest series of doctor who companion chronicles. These are talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to doctor who on tv reprising their role to tell an all new story featuring their character. They are usually complete on one disc, containing two episodes of roughly thirty minutes each, and have the former companion actor doing all the reading and character voices save for one part which is done by a guest actor.
This one is the turn of fraser hines to return once again to the role of jamie mccrimmon, who he played opposite patrick troughton's doctor back in the 1960's.
The story sees the doctor jamie and zoe arrive in london in 1688, when the country is in the grip of revolution as unpopular monarch james the second is about to be deposed. At the same time we also hear from much later in jamie's life, after the time lords sent him home, when a time lord comes to visit him becaue he needs to know what heppened when the tardis crew met james the second.
Because as a result of something that jamie did whilst they were there, time is out of joint...
this story works very well indeed, and it works in two different ways. It's a fascinating look at a period of history that isn't well remembered now. And it also uses the notion of time travel and time paradox very well. This is the cause of a powerful cliffhanger at the end of part one, which is resolved in a rather clever way in part two.
Another bonus of this is one is fraser hines reading. he does an amazingly good impression of patrick troughton playing the doctor. there are times when the doctor and jamie are talking that you can easily forget its the same actor doing both voices.
The final scenes are nicely poignant as they could well be the end to jamie's story. but there's room for more untold tales featuring him. and I hope we get to hear some. Because if they're as good as this, they'll be well worth it.
The disc concludes with a trailer for the next release in the range, and an interview with cast and crew which is well worth a listen
on 1 July 2014
Of all the Big Finish productions I have listened to, this is the best! An excellent historical adventure, with a good sci-fi twist, this works on many levels. Add to that Frazer Hines' incomparable impersonation of Patrick Troughton, and you have an outstanding production. If you only buy one Companion Chronicle, this is the one to get.