Upstairs (#8.03)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

It was truly a pleasure to hear Maureen O’Brien reprising her role as Vicki and listen to her discussions with David Richardson at the end of the story. She reads the many roles quite nicely – butler type, the 1st Doctor, various maids, and other sundry characters throughout the story. For once Steven (Peter Purves) is the “incidental” voice in the story, with Vicki taking the lead. And this story very much has the tone and atmosphere of the First Doctor era. The trio lands in what appears to be an attic and they set off to explore. And can’t find their way back to the TARDIS! And so the mystery deepens.

Vicki is well-spoken and shows serious incentive to keep them from being killed. And it works! She is quick on her feet and even has a few comments about herself that make it clear she understands where she stands in the universe.

The story is a bit uneven from the motivation side. These servants in #10 Downing Street are really proper and decided on their own to promote this “creature” to Prime Minister. It seems that that didn’t really put a lot of thought into it, to be honest. Motivation is just a bit twisted and odd, though the build-up is great. And it really does play on the upstairs-downstairs aspect of British society - something I'm aware of but not really familiar with other than in Doctor Who, such as in Chimes of Midnight. Good stuff!

Maureen O’Brien (Vicki Pallister) and Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)

Writer: Mat Coward

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: September 2013

Laura Vilensky 2019