01/05/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies
Doctor Who Companion Chronicle: The Perpetual Bond by Simon Guerrier. pub: Big Finish. 1 CDs 60 minute story. Price: CD: GBP 8.99 (UK), Download: GBP 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-506-8) cast: Peter Purves and Tom Allen.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
Sara Kingdom is dead. Stephen Taylor and the Doctor witnessed her death at the hands of the Daleks and, considerably shaken, they continue on to an unknown destination. It turns out to be Totters Yard in London, England, where it all began.
1960s England is a trendy place but the uniform of the city of London is pinstripe and bowler hats. All those wearing it tend to look the same, except the character with the mushroom head and the blazing red eyes getting on the bus. Stephen and the Doctor decide they should follow him to a stock-broking firm. Inside, Oliver Harper (Tom Allen) has just had some shocking news and attempts to tell his boss he needs to leave the building. He is momentarily distracted to discover his boss has a mushroom head and blazing red eyes. When the three meet in reception, they decide it’s time to investigate just what the commodity traders are trading.
In a bold move, Big Finish is introducing a new companion into the world of Stephen and the First Doctor. This changes the dynamic and gives someone for Peter Purves to interact with when he is not channelling the character of the Doctor. The plot is odd as we almost have a yuppie broker except he comes from an earlier age when the trading floor was all done in person and not through computer screens. This is quite important to the story as it relies on physical interaction. I have a feeling that Oliver’s big secret may yet relate to our own preoccupations with the machinations of bankers.
The plot is quaint in that it also relies on the companions taking the bus and is rather at the pace of a London bus. It’s good, though, and nice and visual if that doesn’t sound odd. I am getting to like Purves in his return to Stephen Taylor’s character. It is quite a challenge to flesh out the script around characters that many new listeners will be too young to remember but Simon Guerrier seems happy to bring us back to the gruff and non-empathetic Doctor who may or may not actually care what happens to his travelling companions.
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