Thursday, 2 December 2010

Doctor Who: A Town Called Fortune review

This is one of the series of Companion Chronicles as opposed to a full cast drama, where a companion (obviously) recounts an adventure with the Doctor.
In this, it is actor Maggie Stables, as the Sixth Doctor’s companion Evelyn Smythe who takes the spotlight, ably assisted by Richard Cordery as Sam.
As the Doctor himself is missing from the cast, and the domineering presence of the respective actors who play him is not there to carry things along if and when they start to flag, everything stands or falls on the ability of the actor playing the narrator. And in this respect, Stables is very good. She provides a distinctive voice for each character, and while her Doctor doesn’t sound like Colin Baker (and if it did it would be too weird), she captures his bluster and arrogance perfectly, but on more than one occasion I found myself wishing I’d heard him deliver a particular line or withering put-down.
As for the story itself- I love westerns, so they had a head start already in that respect. The story itself is good fun, although one of the twists is rather obvious from the outset.
As with the best Big Finish releases though, they have managed to capture the atmosphere of the old west very well and the tale rollicks along at a tidy pace- and the distinctly ‘normal’ threat that our protagonists face here is a welcome change from intergalactic terrors. In fact, I’d like to see more Who adventures that deal with ‘simple’ (for want of a better word) threats to real people
While this doesn’t have the epic feel of a full cast audio, and it’s hard to adjust to this change of pace to begin with, it is a well crafted tale and well told.

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