The Memory Cheats (#6.03)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

Apparently this framing storyline will be continued for Zoe in future audio dramas as well – she is on death row and Jen, her “defense assistant,” is there to assist her in remembering her adventures with the Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon. In this case, Charlie is the daughter of Wendy but the mother-daughter connection isn’t obvious to me. This particular story takes places in Uzbekistan with the Doctor finding out who or what is taking the children in a small town after the Bolshevik Revolution. There is a side story of major importance about an secret policeman and his troops that impacts how the story ends, though not how the framing story ends.

While I do like the framing idea to get more stories for the brilliant companion Zoe, I could see the framing of the “company” threatening to kill her becoming a bit tired. Simon Guerrier wrote this story and The Uncertainty Principle (7.02) and he’s been very successful in keeping my interest so far (though I liked The Uncertainty Principle better than this story). Wendy Padbury is very good at the second Doctor’s voice but Jamie isn’t quite as good. The clash between Zoe and the Company, which is behind her interrogation, is guiding the interaction between Zoe and Jen. And that is the best part of this tale – the 2nd Doctor story just isn’t as good as the framing story for this one.

Wendy Padbury and Charlie Hayes (Jen)

Writer: Simon Guerrier

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: September 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019