This is one of the series of Companion Chronicles (the second story in the seventh series). These normally feature a past companion of one of the Doctor’s incarnations, narrating a story from their time with the Doctor, and performing the roles of most of the cast along the way, with usually one other actor playing a key role in the story. This story is rather unusual, in that it features Zoe Heriot, who as a young woman travelled with the Second Doctor. At the end of the Second Doctor’s incarnation, and as part of his punishment by the Time Lords, Zoe and the Doctor’s other companion Jamie have their memories of travelling with the Doctor removed, and they are returned to their own times.
This story is unusual in that it has Zoe recounting a story from the time of her travelling with the Doctor, but it is also unusual in that it features an overarcing story which leads to an explanation as to how Zoe is able to remember some of her time with the Doctor, and why she is now doing so. This story arc (which is to feature over four stories, of which this is the third) started in the Companion Chronicle Echoes of Grey, and continued in The Memory Cheats. A fourth story is to conclude this overarcing storyline, which has Zoe working under the orders of the mysterious Company, who want to find out what she knows, and aren’t too fussy about how they find out.
Zoe tells of a time when she, the Doctor and Jamie find themselves at the funeral of a young woman. Who the woman was, how she died, and what the Tardis travellers are doing there is at the heart of the story; but we must wait a while before we begin to piece together the story Zoe is telling to Jen, her interrogator. The story is interesting and intriguing, and as part of the overall Company story arc is even more intriguing. Who are the Company, what do they want, and what will they do to Zoe, if she can, or can’t, tell them what they want to know?
This is a really great Companion Chronicle. Wendy Padbury reprises her role as Zoe with ease, it seems, and her real-life daughter Charlie Hayes plays Jen with great empathy and character in the role. The story of the death of Meg, and the role the Doctor played in the events of that time, is a most interesting and entertainingly enthralling one, and this is a really good addition to the Companion Chronicle stories. I really look forward to seeing how this one follows through in the fourth part of the story arc, Second Chances.