Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: C.C. 702: The Uncertainty Principle

Can the blocks in Zoe Heriot’s memory be broken through so she can be of some use?

If it’s Saturday, it must be time for a new Simon Guerrier audio, or at least that’s slightly how it feels at the moment, with his Blake’s 7, 11th Doctor and Companion Chronicle stories all coming out within weeks of each other. Luckily he’s the sort of author who doesn’t rely on a single trick, and while there are some vague resemblances between elements of The Uncertainty Principle and The Empty House, the explanations and resolutions are quite different.

The story picks up from Guerrier’s The Memory Cheats (itself a sequel to Echoes of Grey), with Zoe claiming that she has no memory of her time travelling with the Doctor, but still somehow recalling events and adventures that took place. This one comes from quite early in her journey – it establishes her age and a timeframe for her TV debut, The Wheel in Space, something the classic series never quite achieved – as the TARDIS crew are still becoming accustomed to each other.

The banter between this team – also seen in the current BBC Books special, The Wheel of Ice – is well-drawn, and Wendy Padbury brings Troughton’s inflections (Jam-EEE, Zo-EEE) to life. She also nails the hesitant feelings of a teenager who’s simply not used to dealing with emotions and their consequences, and it’s always clear when we’re “back in the room” with interrogator Jen (played by Padbury’s daughter, Charlie Hayes), who gets some intriguing developments of her own in this story.

The arc is apparently coming to an end with the next story, which is a bit of a shame: it’s a good conceit for circumventing the in-universe blocks on Zoe recalling stories.

Verdict: Two interlocking tales that counterpoint each other well.  8/10

Paul Simpson

 Click here to order The Uncertainty Principle from Big Finish

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