Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio CC 6.3: The Memory Cheats (& Echoes of Grey)

Zoe tells a story about an encounter with the dreaded Soviet secret police…

This is a sequel to Echoes of Grey (CC 5.02), a very cleverly titled piece, by John Dorney, which is well-told by Wendy Padbury recreating her role of Zoe, the Second Doctor’s last companion. Making a virtue of the amnesia forced on the character by the Time Lords, this is a rather downbeat tale which again has echoes of earlier stories (particularly in the Doctor’s solution to the problem), but rises above them.  7/10

Simon Guerrier picks up the baton for The Memory Cheats is another story set in Zoe’s future, when she is being interrogated about her knowledge of time travel by the mysterious Company. Tackling the central question of how someone with such an incredible memory would cope with her memory being manipulated (as hers was by the Time Lords at the end of The War Games), it shows sides to Zoe Heriot that we didn’t really get a chance to see in the TV show, and fills in some of the gaps in her backstory… or at least, it may.

Wendy Padbury gives one of her strongest performances in a Big Finish audio, with the script not requiring her to do too much impersonation of her co-stars. The scenes with Zoe’s interrogator, played by Padbury’s daughter Charlie Hayes, in particular, crackle with energy.

The final confrontation raises questions about everything we’ve heard and really opens up the story for the concluding part of the trilogy, which presumably will follow next year.

Verdict: A more reflective story than one might associate with Zoe, and all the more powerful for it.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Memory Cheats from Big Finish

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