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. But will listeners get an answer to ‘The Second Oldest Question‘?
Following ‘Dead Media‘, this Fifth Doctor and Nyssa story provides a more traditional short trip. Big Finish’s Short Trips range allows Doctor Who actors to read the listener a story. It is a range that sometimes experiments with it’s presentation but with ‘The Second Oldest Question‘ there is a return to first principles. On narration duty is Sarah Sutton who provides variety to her delivery in order to portray the various characters, straining enthusiastically to bring the story to life.
A Medieval hamlet is a good choice to locate a Doctor Who story. Even better when the place is called Snittlegarth! The year 1357, and the 14th Century generally, have not been heavily exploited for stories so there is plenty of scope for storytelling. As a result it therefore feels refreshing. The opening of this short trip sets up the scenario. A chicken is on trial accused of arson. Yes, you read that correctly. Enter the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Like much of the Short Trips range there is a particular uniqueness to this tale. After all, few could’ve predicted that set up.
I’m reluctant to reveal any more than that so not to spoil the various twists and revelations. Ultimately, ‘The Second Oldest Question’ is an oddity but a thoroughly enjoyable short trip.
The oldest question in the universe has haunted the Doctor ever since he left Gallifrey. A question that only a few know the answer to. A question that must never be answered.
This isn’t the story of that question. This is the story of the second oldest question. A question that has plagued humanity for millennia. A question which determines whether someone can live or die. A question that must be answered.