This is another in the series of Companion Chronicles, where a companion of an earlier incarnation of the Doctor relates a tale of their time travelling with that Doctor. In this instance, Anneke Wills tells a story of her time as Polly, travelling with the Second Doctor, Ben and Jamie McCrimmon. The Tardis is caught in an apparent block while travelling through time and space, and when the Tardis lands in what seems to be 20th century London, all is not as it seems. Polly tells this story to an audience in an effort to make them understand how this past event of her life relates to a current emergency, a recorded message which has been heard around the world telling of penalties for using what they call their area of time.
Frazer Hines, as Jamie McCrimmon, also narrates part of the story, as he gets separated from his companions. This was very cleverley done, and neatly fits into the world that we remember from the `classic' Doctor Who stories. Polly and Jamie's relationship, and their relationship with Ben and the Doctor is very clear in this story; and the simple tale becomes one of a group of friends and time travellers attempting to save the universe from a threat they could never have imagined.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I have only just started collecting Big Finish stories, and having recently listened to seven of Paul McGann’s parallel universe, and in comparison I enjoyed this as it has no loose ends, and is a happy traditional story. Like the narration, Anneke is very good, Frazier has enthusiasm in his voice. Inspires me to buy other Companion stories.
Two companions participating in one Companion Chronicle should have resulted in a very good product, but for some reason it just comes across as a bit dull. The central story concerning time fences is an interesting one and perhaps more time should have focussed on this rather than the events of what is essentially too many companions (Ben, Polly and Jamie) which adds to the a slow pace of getting to the better ideas later on.
Companion Chronicles are a difficult medium, because it relies so heavily on the narrator(s) to do their part and that of the Doctor. Here some of the source material would appear to be weaker as the some mannerisms of Troughton's Doctor are a direct lift from stories which feels more like overuse than it is rewarding; it would be nice to have something in keeping with the Doctor, but original at the same time.
The ending is clever, but the story is slow and overlong with some unnecessary scenes; some of the ideas are initially naive, and the gap before the tie-in explanation is too long; could have even worked as an extended one-part story. Perhaps where The Perpetual Bond (previous month's Companion Chronicle) is a very good example of a piece written for the time it is in being a good thing, for this story it feels like it is a constraining factor and perhaps these particular ideas could have benefited from a more dynamic TARDIS crew.
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which see actors who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to record an all new story for their character. And their Doctor.
They run for two episodes of roughly thirty minutes each, and are complete on a single cd.
The actor does all the voices save one which is voiced by a guest actor. In this case Frazer Hines, returning to the role of Jamie.
This story sees the return of Anneke Wills to the role of Polly, whom she played opposite both William Hartnell and then Patrick Troughton's Doctors back in the 1960's.
It begins with the peoples of Earth in turmoil after they've received a message from an alien race stating that they have sealed off an area of time, which covers several years, and that nobody will be allowed into it without paying a very heavy toll.
However Polly has gathered together people for a meeting, where she reveals to them the reason behind what is happening. And she tells them the tale of how she, the Doctor, Jamie and Ben visited the time that is now forbidden.
The area of time they step into has a big difference from normal reality, and this difference is well rendered via judicious sound design and gentle supporting music. It's meant to create what would look like something out of a surrealist painting on tv - as would the aliens of the story - and in this respect it succeeds very well.
But this one is a bit slowly paced, and as such the first part feels slightly inconsequential.
Things do come together in part two, tying the strand of the story narrated by Jamie together with the main one, but the way that's done doesn't quite have the impact it should, thanks to part two being almost all talk and no action.
There's a nice final scene for the time travellers though, and a nice emotional moment for Polly at the end.
It's not a terrible story. It's to be applauded for trying to do what it does. But it's just not quite the most memorable in this range.
A trailer for the next companion chronicle can be found after episode two.
And roughly six minutes of interviews with cast and crew follow after that.