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Doctor Who Companion Chronicles: The Memory Cheats by Simon Guerrier

1/12/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who Companion Chronicles: The Memory Cheats in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who Companion Chronicles: The Memory Cheats in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 1 CDs 60 minute story. Price: CD: GBP 8.99 (UK), Download: GBP 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-582-2). cast: Wendy Padbury and Charlie Hayes.

check out web site www.BigFinish.com

‘Memory Cheats’ stars Wendy Padbury as the Second Doctor’s companion, Zoë. She was picked up when Jamie and the Second Doctor visited a space station in the 21st century. She was dropped back with her memory wiped when the Time Lords punished the Doctor by turning him into Jon Pertwee.

This story picks up from previous excellent Companion Chronicle, ‘Echoes Of Grey’ by John Dorney. Simon Guerrier takes up the story as Zoë is arrested by the company who have evidence she has travelled in time and space. Zoë has a perfect memory, instant recall. But she remembers nothing of this. She believes it never happened.



As the Company interrogates her in the person of Jen (Charlie Hayes), Zoë recounts a story of a visit to Earth in its colonial past. It’s Uzbekistan, 1919, and children are going missing. The Doctor is bound to help. Zoë knows about loss. Brought up by the Space Academy, she was taken from her parents at an early age. Childhood was short for her.

Now is the time for Zoë to confront the truth, even if she believes the decisions she made are all her own fiction. Zoë has to face her own past and her beliefs because if this is the truth, then what sort of person does it make her?

Once again the Zoë Heriot story is intriguing as we explore the hidden past of her adventures with the Second Doctor. She is a damaged person. Cruelly cast aside by the Time Lords to punish the Second Doctor for messing around with time and space. She is condemned to live her life with blocked memories only emerging in dreams and nightmares. Guerrier has captured once again the awful imaginings of a woman with a perfect photogenic memory who can only pick at fragments of that past.

It is atmospheric with the two leads reflecting each other well. My only concern is that the two voices sound a little similar on occasions leading to mild confusion on my part. It’s not surprising as Charlie Hayes is Wendy’s daughter.

John Dorney and Simon Guerrier have worked this thread well giving new life to the continuing story of Zoë Heriot. I hope this thread continues to be picked at as it looks like there is further mileage in it.

Sue Davies

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