A story from quite early on in the Seventh Doctor and Ace’s relationship, this short trip by Mark B. Oliver is an enjoyable tale, brought to life well by Sophie Aldred, with some clever sound design and direction by Toby Hrycek-Robinson and Lisa Bowerman. It’s a story that fits this particular Doctor very well: as a listener, you’re absolutely sure that there must be more going on than meets the eye initially, and this incarnation’s motives aren’t always as clear-cut as they might be.
It’s a story that doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the convoys: even experienced sailors were lost at sea, and the threat of the U-boats was constant. Just making it from Britain to Murmansk was an achievement, given the odds that were stacked against the sailors (and it’s not surprising that they and their relatives have campaigned long and hard for recognition for their work). Oliver provides some nice touches of characterisation for both the Doctor and Ace and the ending is appropriately bittersweet.
Verdict: Another well-written, acted and directed contribution to the range. 8/10