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.
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV returning to their role in order to read an all new tale for them.
They do all the voices save one which is done by a guest actor.
And the stories are complete in two parts, on a single cd.
This one sees Wendy Padbury return once again to the role of Zoe, who she played alongside Patrick Troughton's Doctor at the end of the 60's.
Zoe is being interrogated by a lady called Jen, and tales of her time in the TARDIS are starting to come out.
All this is relayed in some opening exposition, but casual listeners might be better off by hearing those other two stories first.
Both episodes in this are just over thirty minutes long, and the exposition does mean that whilst the first episode does fly by whilst you listen to it, it feels as if it doesn't get going at all till you're well over halfway in.
And then you're landed in the middle of an adventure for the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe, and it takes a short while to find where that storyline is going.
It is a decent little storyline though. A tale of them looking into the death of a lady scientist who was involved in some dangerous experiments, which are causing strange creatures to appear. A supporting character in this storyline is a very strong creation, given some wonderfully powerful emotional moments that you won't forget in a hurry.
All of which, as happens often in this range, force the companion into a bit of an epiphany.
The Zoe vs the company storyline does develop somewhat, and interesting detail is added to the Jen character. But there's no sense of anything being resolved in that story by the end.
But there will be another of these for Zoe in due course, so we should get back to that soon. The end of this does leave you wanting to know what will happen next.
It's not a standout story but it has some very good moments and is an effective continuation of the bigger storyline. So it's a good release all in all.
There's a trailer for the next companion chronicle on the cd track right after the end of part two.
And just under nine minutes of interviews with the cast and the director on the two tracks after that.