The first audio drama featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor has arrived on BBC Sounds. But what is the mystery at the Juno heart of Redacted?
Just after the Doctor Who Spring Special, Legend of the Sea Devils aired on BBC One, another Doctor Who story was available on BBC Sounds. Doctor Who: Redacted is a new 10 part story airing weekly each Sunday on BBC Sounds.
The core of this audio drama, created by Juno Dawson, is based on three women who run the Blue Box Podcast. The three were roommates and classmates at University before they dropped out and went on to live separate lives. The Blue Box Podcast holds them together as they chase down Abby McPhail’s (Lois Chimimba) latest theory on where, when, and why this mysterious Police Box appears throughout history.
The life of Abby McPhail (Lois Chimimba), the podcast’s owner and editor, is on hold. She is a full-time carer for her mum and has also fallen into a long-term relationship with someone who is just there. She’s missing the love and admiration from Shawna Thompson (Holly Quin-Ankrah) who spends her time yearning after her friend. The third member of the trio is Cleo Proctor (Charlie Craggs). She has been living with her brother Jordan (Jacob Hawley) for the past 10 years after her mother kicked her out for being trans.
As with their predecessors in LINDA, these are characters waiting for their lives to happen rather than living them.
Interwoven amongst the three friend’s day-to -ay are some familiar friends and familiar stories from the Doctor’s lives. But for some reason, the Doctor is being forgotten by anyone that knows her. She’s being redacted.
There is a focus on the LGBQT+ community – one of the women is trans, and another has an unrequited love for the third. This is both deliberate and expected as the series was created by a trans woman, Juno Dawson, and stars a trans-woman as Cleo. However, the three women are stuck. They seem to be waiting for their lives to happen rather than living them.
This is a familiar tone. Blue Box Podcast has a ring of the LINDA club from Love and Monsters. In both stories, the characters are just existing, not reaching out beyond what their life expects of them. And like the LINDA group, they have had the support of each other. It will be interesting to observe the relationship between the three women evolves as they become embroiled in the Doctor’s life.
But for now, The Doctor is in trouble. That much is clear. We’ll have to wait until next week to see how much.
Doctor Who: Redacted is available every Sunday on BBC Sounds starting April 17th
Cleo Proctor…Charlie Craggs
Abby McPhail…Lois Chimimba
Shawna Thompson…Holly Quin-Ankrah
The Doctor…Jodie Whittaker
Madame Vastra…Doon Mackichan
Jordan Proctor…Jacob Hawley
Monica Proctor…Sarah Thom
The Floater…Alasdair Beckett-King
Rani Chandra…Anjili Mohindra
Kate Stewart…Jemma Redgrave
Petronella Osgood…Ingrid Oliver.
Extended Cast: Ambika Mod, Kieran Hodgson, Natasha Hodgson, Siena Kelly, Clare Perkins, Ken Cheng, Juno Dawson,Pip Gladwin, Karim Kronfli.
Lead Writer (Episodes 1, 2, 3 & 10): Juno Dawson, Episode 4: Catherine Brinkworth, Episode 5: Sasha Sienna, Episode 6: Ken Cheng, Episode 7: Àjoké Ibironke & Juno Dawson, Episode 8: Doris V. Sutherland, Episode 9: David K. Barnes
Producer and Director: Ella Watts, Executive Producer: James Robinson, Sound Designer: David Thomas, Additional Sound Design: Arlie Adlington, Original Composition: David Devereux, Sound Engineer: Paul Clark, Studio Assistant: Jacob Tombling, Production Co-Ordinators: Sarah Sharpe and Sarah Nicholls, Script Editor: Tasha Dhanraj, Production Company: BBC Studios, Recording Studio: Sonica Studios Clapham
Commissioning Executive: Louise Kattenhorn.
Doctor Who: Redacted is a BBC Studios production for BBC Sounds.