‘The Companion Chronicles’ range continues this month with a second volume for the Second Doctor.
Following a fantastic run in ‘The New Adventures’ range last year, this release keeps the bar set high for fans of the Second Doctor. The Doctor, Ben and Polly meet dinosaurs, friendly guard dog, garden parties and a haunted TARDIS. Ghosts in fourteenth century France and then timey-wimey tale with some old friends joining them along the way.
The Curator’s Egg by Julian Richards
The set kicks off in high gear with Julian Richard’s ‘The Curator’s Egg’. Richards is always reliable for a cracking good Doctor Who story and ‘The Curator’s Egg’ is no different. Opening with a scene reminiscent of ‘The Smugglers’ injects the story with some very interesting scenes that would be impossible on a Sixties budget! And you’ll fall in love with the Scamp the Dog too!
This story is deftly aided by Anneke Wills playing both the role of narrator and her original role of Polly Wright. Wills is just brilliant in both roles, bringing the story to life with her considerable narration skills. Not to mention the character of Polly is very well used in this story, taking the focus for much of it. Following on from ‘The Night Witches’ last year, it’s been a great time for fans of Polly. She has undergone a renaissance of late and let’s hope this continues.
Dumb Waiter by Rob Nisbet
It was very sad news indeed when we found out that Deborah Watling had passed away last year. As Victoria, she featured in some of the best and most influential Doctor Who stories of all time. But her passing hasn’t stopped Big Finish from honouring her. She and the Doctor (played by co-star Frazer Hines), find themselves at a strange garden party eerily reminiscent of Victorian England. Hines is often lauded for his pitched impersonation of his friend and co-star, Patrick Troughton. And it’s easy to see why. Hines gets plenty to do both as the Doctor, his original character Jamie and the narrator and pulls off every role with aplomb.
But all the duties don’t just fall to Hines in this story, as author Rob Nisbet twists and bends the rules of time travel to bring Leela (Louise Jameson) into the Second Doctor’s timeline. Having featured together in ‘Return to Telos’ a few years ago, it seemed to be a long-term plan to get Hines and Jameson back in the studio together. Hines shares narration duties with Jameson and instantly form a fun double-act, thanks in no small part to a tremendous script from Nisbet.
The Iron Maid by John Pritchard
‘The Iron Maid’ feels like a story that would easily fit into the Second Doctor’s timeline, which proves to be a nice to return to a format we are familiar with. The previous stories injected a bit more modernity into the Second Doctor’s era. But this one goes old school.
Wendy Padbury puts in a powerhouse performance as Zoe in this exciting story from John Pritchard. Like Anneke Wills, Padbury is a superb narrator as she recounts a story seeing two historical periods colliding with some explosive results. Prichard does an excellent job with all the elements he introduces and weaves a story that keeps up a strong investment in all its characters. With a stunning twist at the end for good measure.
The Tactics of Defeat by Tony Jones
Captain Ruth Matheson is visiting a Mayan temple, in search of something more villainous than any Dalek. Giving the Second Doctor time-twisting stories seems to be the rule for this set as Tony Jones gives us another time-travel twist with a predestination mystery to solve. As with Leela earlier in the set, this story features another future Doctor Who face, Daphne Ashbrook, as Matheson. Ashbrook reprises the character effortlessly and sparks off Wendy Padbury in a way that’s ripe for future stories.
This second volume of The Second Doctor is a terrific set of stories that not only honours the show’s past but looks to its bright future. The writers are excellent, each delivering a story that feels completely new and fresh. Directors Helen Goldwyn and Lisa Bowerman craft these stories excellently, showing why they’re the best choices for a set as anticipated as this. The cast is excellent as ever, especially Elliot Chapman and how he handles Ben Jackson’s increased role. It’s encouraging to see both Big Finish and the audience embrace Chapman into the Second Doctor’s pantheon so fully.
This title was released in June 2018. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until July 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.
Four new stories from the Second Doctor’s era…
1. The Curator’s Egg by Julian Richards
Zoltan Clarkson (Eccentric Billionaire, Cybernetics Tycoon, Museum Curator) had a dream of a domestic dinosaur in every home. He bought the empty county of Dorset to work on this dream and develop cyborg dinosaur hybrids in a safe, contained environment.
Now Clarkson lies insensate in the infirmary, his twin brother Andrew struggles to hold things together and dinosaurs walk the Earth. With the Doctor and Ben chasing monsters at sea, Polly has only a socially awkward scientist and the world’s friendliest dog to help her prevent the rise of the ultimate predators…
2. Dumb Waiter by Rob Nisbet
The Doctor and Victoria attend a civilised garden party. But their genial hostess, Mrs De Winter, is convinced that the garden conceals a secret; something about Carlos the head waiter who never speaks.
The hidden truth can be glimpsed by people less accustomed to the mask of politeness and cake. People like Jamie.
And people like Leela, the mysterious “warrior of the Seventeen”…
3. The Iron Maid by John Pritchard
“I saw a wheel up in the heavens – a wheel of fire and swords… And I saw a heap of armour that was waiting for a Maid to put it on. I feared that it was meant for me, but a voice said otherwise – that another Maid was coming and she would save our country from its enemies…”
The TARDIS has arrived in France in the fourteenth century – a time of devastation and despair. In an empty church beside a crowded graveyard, Zoe meets a woman who claims to see a dreadful future waiting for the world.
4. The Tactics of Defeat by Tony Jones
In the rain-swept jungle of Belize, Captain Ruth Matheson and Zoe Heriot are both about to discover just what sacrifices they are prepared to make when faced with a seventeenth century threat that might just spell death for millions of innocent people.
Does the end justify the means? Sometimes winning feels like exactly like losing…
Written By: Julian Richards, Rob Nisbet, John Pritchard, Tony Jones
Directed By: Helen Goldwyn, Lisa Bowerman
Anneke Wills (Polly / Narrator), Elliot Chapman (Ben Jackson / Andrew Clarkson / Zoltan Clarkson), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon / The Second Doctor), Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot / Narrator), Daphne Ashbrook (Captain Ruth Matheson), Louise Jameson (Leela / Mrs De Winter / Narrator), Matthew Brenher (Deakin), Jo Woodcock (Marie). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer Ian Atkins
Script Editor Jacqueline Rayner
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs