James Goss’ latest contribution to the Winter saga adds a few new wrinkles to the concept and gives us a Doctor who at times feels as if he has to apologise for everything. This may not sound much like the 12th Doctor – particularly given the events of Heaven Sent – but bear with it: Goss has nailed the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, and with the benefit of hindsight you can see how the events of this story may have affected the character once inside the confession dial.
Unfortunately, it’s a rare occasion where the reading of the story brings the whole thing down a notch. Robin Soans – who was the Cyberman who ran in Face the Raven – seems to have decided that Clara uses Estuary English, so we get the rather bizarre situation of a story written for Clara sounding as if it’s being spoken by Rose! You also come to appreciate just how many different Scottish accents there are from the variety we’re getting in the 12th Doctor audios…
One element that’s initially annoying and seems almost overly present is the background music, but there’s a very particular reason for this (and why it’s so grating at times). Goss throws in a couple of comments about the prevalence of underscores in drama (who are you getting at there, James?!) but makes his point well.
Verdict: Another intriguing Winter story that doesn’t come across as well as it could. 8/10