Circular Time (#91)

Big Finish Main Range

Now here’s a classic born out of the short story genre we never really get to listen to that much. My favorites go from the last to the first—the last story is just ingenious in its architecture. Haven’t seen the inside of our favorite Time Lord’s mind since Shadow of the Scourge and this one’s a bit louder and wetter. I don’t want to give it away at all because the first time I listened to it was a joy—wandering along, trying to figure out who is really there and who isn’t, despite my nagging suspicions, was just wonderful! I actually went back and listened to it all a second time, though I didn’t listen to the “Zero” story of the bird people again. That one is good but the weakest of the bunch for me because it is standard Dr. Who fare. Good but not thought provoking.

For the true, hard-core Who fans who listen to every word, apparently it gives a ton of clues about the Doctor’s past. Did he leave Gallifrey or was he exiled? Does it matter? Not to me. The results matter more than the means. Plus he later becomes president so it seems almost a moot point. I listen to the DWO whocast and they talked to Mike Maddox about the stories, in which they talk about the seasonal progression. Each story mirrors a time of the Doctor in Nyssa’s life—Spring through Winter. And the most poignant of them all being fall, in my mind. Nyssa falls in love, writes a book about home and hesitantly puts in her bad guy, then learns that leaving is probably the best because he doesn’t turn out to be what she thinks. Sounds very much like people learning to love each over time—it’s not always like that first blush of love. And Nyssa’s considering why it isn’t what she thinks. Maybe this just hits home more because of my own circumstances but it seemed definitely bittersweet, like she finally understands why the Doctor is the way he is, not just why this boy’s the way he is.

The Isaac Newton story made my head spin a bit because he’s just as inconstant as the stars! I don’t know much about Newton but if he was really so changeable, wow. Though I guess that does make sense because people of such life-changing genius are rarely mentally stable. There’s always something, well, not “normal” about them that allows their brains to function on this crazy, higher level that the rest of us can’t really even begin to fathom. But it works!

Overall, I will listen to these again, I’m sure, but selectively. But they’re well written enough that I’d be willing to listen to any one of them again in a heartbeat. Can’t wait to see how they top this one!

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton

Writers: Paul Cornell (CD #2) and Mike Maddox (CD #1)

Director: John Ainsworth

Release: January 2007

Laura Vilensky 2019