Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: Short Trips 6.01: Gardens of the Dead

DWST0601_gardensofthedead_1417Turlough recalls the time that he “accidentally” brought the TARDIS to some unusual gardens…

Jenny Colgan’s touching tale is well-performed by Mark Strickson, who perfectly recreates the younger Turlough, in all his Black Guardian-fearing tremulousness, as well as a stridently Australian Tegan, a softly spoken Nyssa (and the last line of the piece is a lovely tribute to the character), a well-observed Fifth Doctor and a malevolent Black Guardian. It’s set hot on the heels of Mawdryn Undead with the dynamic among the TARDIS crew considerably changed by the arrival of the young visitor from Trion, and Colgan brings a forensic eye to the various ripples – and how little they seem to affect the Doctor.

The story is based around what seems a perfect idea regarding the passing of a loved one, although at least one of the characters picks up on its slightly unhealthy nature. That allows space for the TARDIS crew to express their grief – we see more of Nyssa’s interactions than we do the others, although there’s a spooky moment when Turlough is in the TARDIS which hints at sides to the Doctor we rarely saw in the classic era. And of course there’s deadly peril as well as yet more difficult moral choices for Turlough…

Verdict: A note perfect recreation of the era. 10/10

Paul Simpson


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