The Sleeping City (#8.08)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

I’m giving this story high marks partially because of the twist (no spoilers here on that!) and the frame for the story – Ian being questioned about his missing time when he returns to Earth. The paranoia of the times fits in and everything about the story is just laid out quite well by Ian Potter. And John Banks really is the “jack of all trades” in terms of voices! I never know when he’s in a story unless I read it. If I ever met him I wouldn’t be able to recognize him by voice, that’s for sure.

Everything about the Companion Chronicles series is used to perfection in this story. The story opens with Ian being questioned about the time that’s missing from when he returns to England, with Barbara being questioned in a different room. So if he tells them what they want to know about the Doctor and his motives, they’ll both be released. There is a small sound that plays as Ian goes from storytelling mode, where he tells the story of their adventure in Hisk, to “reality” mode and back again. That noise is perfect as it’s not too distracting but gives us the clue that the scene is taking place in a different location/time. It’s just a fantastically told story! My only complaint, which is extremely minor, is the title. Sleeping City? But it’s not, really. It’s quite alive in the dreams of the sleepers, no? But it covers all bases, too. It’s just nearly as clever as the rest of the story is all.

William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and John Banks (Gerrard)

Writer: Ian Potter

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: February 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019