Nick Wallace’s creepy tale is given an effective reading by Louise Jameson, aided by some suitably sepulchral sound design from Toby Hrycek-Robinson and direction by Lisa Bowerman. There are some clever touches in the script – scenes told from Leela’s point of view often do not use contractions, for example, whereas the Doctor’s do – and Wallace writes some scenes from the Time Lord’s perspective, allowing us to share in his anger at what he discovers… and his enjoyment of his role as a teacher.
There’s enough backstory in this 35 minute piece to justify a full story with the Hihmakk – in fact, just as one of the BBC Time Trips has recently been expanded to novel length, so this Short Trip could easily form the basis for a four-part adventure. Wallace gives the species some very intriguing attributes, and uses them to answer some questions about the ease of travelling round the cosmos.
Verdict: A short but very well told tale. 9/10