Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: The Early Adventures 2.2: The Forsaken

DWEA0202_theforsaken_1417The Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie arrive near Singapore in 1942 – a critical time for the Jackson family…

Although quite a lot of attention was given to Elliot Chapman’s debut performance as Ben in the first of these Second Doctor audios, it’s in The Forsaken that he really makes his mark. He slips very naturally into the role of the Cockney sailor, and the scenes between him, Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines are excellent. It’s helped by a very strong script from Justin Richards (even if there is an old reference to the sonic screwdriver dropped in there!) in which the fact that Jacko is Ben’s father is important, but isn’t by any means the sole focus of the story – this is definitely not a Father’s Day type tale for the black-and-white era crew.

Lisa Bowerman’s direction is spot on, the levels of paranoia and confusion the plot requires never getting in the way of the strong storytelling. It’s almost a shame that one of the key guest stars is killed off earlier in the story than you might like, as there’s a good rapport between the entire company that sounds as if they’re having a great time making the audio – something that the extras confirm.

My only reservation about this is the incidental music, which occasionally slips very close to John Barry’s theme for The Man with the Golden Gun, and is slightly over reliant on a wind chime sound.

Verdict: Another successful recreation of five decades-old Doctor Who. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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