The Doctor’s Story (#1.2)

Big Finish, The Early Adventures

This story is spare, with lots of characters and locations yet few people speaking. This is an historical in the time of the overthrow of Richard the II, installing Henry IV as the new king. The Doctor and company arrive and Sonning, where the old queen Isabela is held, and set to work helping out around the castle as her tutor (The Doctor), friend (Vicki), and an assistant around the place (Barbara). Ian’s pretty much considered a knight and left to his own devices. Somehow trouble finds them in the form of Sir Thomas, who is forever suspicious of them yet goes from helping the travelers to trying to kill them, frequently from one scene to the next. A duplicitous time indeed.

I always have a most difficult time listening to the First Doctor stories as I’m convinced they’ll be killed or maimed in some way every time they interact with someone in their environment. The “formula” for their adventures isn’t nearly so cut and dry as it is for later Doctors and their companions. It takes me awhile to get into the adventure because of that – I dread listening as I am expecting them to be killed any moment – every moment in a story. But after I get over it and just go with the story, it can be a very good tale. An this is a very good tale! As historicals go, it has the swordplay, escaping, running, hiding, jumping, the companions being separated, Chaucer, it’s all pretty much right here. This one has it all and though it meanders a bit, it’s very good. The only thing mysterious to me is the title as the Doctor isn’t included for a whole episode even. Strange but who knows. I sure don’t!

Maureen O’Brien(Vicki and Barbara),William Russell(Ian Chesterton and the Doctor),Gareth Armstrong(Geoffrey Chaucer),Joseph Kloska(Sir Thomas de Wensley),Alice Haig(Isabella),John Banks(Thomas Arundel)

Writer:Marc Platt

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: October 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019