Doctor Who Companion Chronicles: The Suffering

Set in England in the year 1912 there are a lot of big events going on: The Suffragette movement is in full swing and there are some big discoveries as someone has just dug up the ‘missing link’. But you could be forgiven for thinking this story was set elsewhere, at least at first. Take one doctor, add a companion and a quarry. Mix in a bit of dead alien and female companion possession and what do you have? Well why it may sound like the hand of fear, and to be fair its exactly the same starting point, its a very different story.

This time the alien is definitely female and she has an ax to grind with all men. This fits in nicely into the Suffragette historical backstory and without revealing to much the alien story and the human one offer some nice parallels. The twist at the end is also a nice touch and the climax isn’t a cop out and is ver satisfying.

Itss a fun narrative with both companions taking turns telling the tale ( with the other helping out with voice duties). Both are easy to listen to and the soundwork eases us into that bygone age. The backwards and forward swapping are required as both companions are dragged in and out of the story. Either by physically or mentally absent from events ( Vicki gets possessed and acts as the host for the alien). The 1st Doctor is well served by both actors; they don’t try to get the voice but instead focus on the mannerisms which they nail perfectly.

This is quite a dark tale and some of it some people may find quite disturbing. Its far darker than most other releases and it touches on some really dark stuff that could be troubling for some. On the plus side it handles sexism ( even if only due to the time it was set) far better than Mission to Magus did. There isn’t anything cringeworthy here and its also interesting to get the insight of the characters from the future on the backwards attitudes.

Oh and the dead body on the bus was possibly slightly out of tone but it was some welcome comedy that helped the story from becoming to grime.

Its well worth a listen; its one of the best companion chronicles so far.

8/10

Available now from Big Finish

Updated: June 14, 2014 — 10:00 pm

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