Christmas has come and gone. So what better way of spending those purgatory days between Christmas and New Year than with some short trips from Big Finish. Let’s kick off with ‘Dead Media‘, a new story for the Twelfth Doctor.
‘Dead Media‘ is a brilliant use of the audio medium. It is an audio story, the usual offering from Big Finish, but presented in a different way. The Short Trips range does allow for some experimentation. Free from the expectations of a big boxset showcase with a stellar cast, a story can be told in a different manner. On this occasion an adventure for the Twelfth Doctor is presented as a podcast. Whilst at St Luke’s University, Petra from the A/V Club enlists the Doctor to record an episode of ‘People of St Lukes’. So, he tells the listener a story.
With Peter Capaldi not recruited to Big Finish at time of recording, Jacob Dubman steps into Twelve’s brogues. Initially the difference between actors is jarring but the longer you listen the more comfortable it feels. The story itself is not entirely original. Ghosts in the machines have been around for a while. An episode of The X Files or Ringu/The Ring springs to mind. Someone or something trapped within a piece of media or technology. Unlike those stories however the audio medium allows for wilder imagery to be created into the mind of the listener. It would be a supremely difficult story to attempt to realise on screen!
‘Dead Media‘ also reminded me of a very early Big Finish release ‘Whispers of Terrors‘. 20 years ago (yes TWENTY), ‘Whispers of Terror‘, was my first introduction to Big Finish audio adventures. I remember being impressed by the inventiveness of the story and how well Doctor Who worked on audio. ‘Dead Media‘ is just another example that reinforces that opinion.
Any new additions to the catalogue of Twelfth Doctor stories are very welcome. Narrator Jacob Dudman and Director Nicholas Briggs work together well to evoke the Twelfth Doctor’s era. The sound work by Richard Fox also complements the story brilliantly. John Richard‘s script, as well as being impressively imaginative, is also full of little references for fans to listen out for. Brilliantly inventive and uniquely presented, ‘Dead Media‘ is a podcast episode not to be missed.
Like everyone else in 2017, the Doctor is doing a podcast. Named the ‘People of St Lukes’, the podcast is about the everyday lives of students at the university. Only, with the Doctor involved, the everyday is dangerous and extraordinary.
Something’s lurking in the A/V department, something that is trapped in old equipment… as the Doctor quickly discovers, outdated technology does have a role in the modern world.
That role? Ending it.