There are some neat parallels and homages in Matt Fitton’s sequel to John Dorney’s original Rocket Men story: the opening question has deliberate resonances, and in the same way that Dorney’s tale was both a character piece and a riproaring adventure, so is this, adding to the insights into Steven that we’ve had in Simon Guerrier’s earlier trilogies featuring the character.
Fitton uses the Companion Chronicle format well, making the other voice one of the Rocket Men, which leads to a final sequence where it’s cutting between the two narrators at breakneck speed. Lisa Bowerman directs with an assured hand, with some clever overlapping of the Doctor and Steven’s dialogue (both of course voiced by Peter Purves) and a sound design that leaves you in no doubt of the various different environments.
There are some tips of the hat to the Back to the Future franchise throughout the story, both in some of the set ups and their resolution, but given how much it’s been plundered in recent time for the TV series, that’s perhaps almost required nowadays!
Verdict: The obvious choice of companion to face the Rocket Men, this is a well-told taut tale. 7/10