Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: Short Trips Special: The Toy

The_toySubscribers’ free gift with Doctor Who: The Complete History

Nyssa finds a jewel in the TARDIS which leads to an extraordinary encounter…

Sarah Sutton reads Nigel Fairs’ very nicely constructed tale that fits neatly within the idea of the huge partwork with which it is being offered – a story that in a clever way encompasses the whole of the Doctor’s adventures (classic and new), yet stays true to the era in which it is set, with Fairs’ usual gift for characterisation to the fore.

Sutton is given a number of challenges in the narration – she’s not just playing the Season 19 TARDIS crew pre-Earthshock, but a large number of other important roles as well – and rises to them admirably, not trying to imitate, but give the feel of those whose performances she is capturing. The savvy listener (and let’s be honest, anyone who’s shelling out for the partwork is likely to be someone who’s either pretty familiar with Doctor Who’s long history, or who wants to be!) will click what’s going on ahead of the Trakenite, but you won’t be able to predict how it’s going to turn out. In some ways it reminds me of a very old Doctor Who Weekly strip (issues 17 and 18 if I remember rightly).

The half-hour story is accompanied by a documentary on Big Finish’s work which will hopefully pull in quite a few more subscribers!

Verdict: A sometimes surprising, well-told tale. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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