In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: Short Trips: All Hands On Deck

Carole Ann Ford gave an absolutely superb performance with 54 years of power and character realization behind it.

Synopsis: Doctor Who: Short Trips Monthly is a series of new short stories read by an original cast member.

Release #34 is an Eighth Doctor and Susan story.

Everyone Susan Campbell cared about has gone. Most of them died in the second Dalek invasion, and her grandfather never visits. She’s living in what used to be Coal Hill School, helping Earth rebuild again.

Then, one night, she’s called away to help with an emergency. A piece of appropriated Dalek technology is malfunctioning, and everyone’s afraid of what it might do…

This is just the first in a sequence of predicaments facing Susan – and the connection between them will shape the rest of her life.

Review: For this Short Trips entry, writer Eddie Robson relied on the poignant inexorability of Doctor Who’s internal logic. The Time Lords would draft Susan into the Time War, The Doctor would try to prevent them from delivering the call up message, and Susan would choose to serve rather than run.

Those fixed plot points never in doubt, the narrative is actually about everything Robson built around them. I adored the fact that Susan, still mourning the death of her son in the Second Dalek Invasion, was living at the repurposed Coal Hill School. I also loved the tree dedicated to the memory of Barbara and Ian.

The tour de force, though, was Robson’s marvelous inversion of Susan’s original departure from the series. This time, she shut the Doctor out and delivered the speech, which I’m still a bit teary over. Carole Ann Ford gave an absolutely superb performance with 54 years of power and character realization behind it.

Producer Ian Atkins

Script Editor Ian Atkins

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Written By: Eddie Robson

Directed By: Lisa Bowerman

Cast

Carole Ann Ford (Narrator)

10
Big Finish: Doctor Who: Short Trips: All Hands On Deck
  • Story
    10
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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