Yes ‘flip-side’ is a bit obvious and already done by Big Finish themselves; deal with it! Anyway here we are at the end of the latest Sixth Doctor trilogy which surprised many fans by featuring a new companion Flip played by Lisa Greenwood who we first encountered in The Crimes of Thomas Brewster. How did she survive the transition to full companion status? Did she bring out something new in the Doctor? Should she become a more permanent feature? What if any are the implications of Mel’s return? Read on to find out what I think…
How was it for me?
Overall a lot more hit than miss with Flip foisting herself on the Doctor in the first story and by the end of the third winning a real place on board the TARDIS.
The episodes themselves
The Curse of Davros was a well written script with lots of humour sneaked in around a decent story of swapped identity and lots of Dalek devilry. Flip is as surprised as anybody to meet up with the Doctor again and her joining the TARDIS is maybe not the most compelling, almost a ‘might as well’ decision than a defining need. Also well executed was Flip’s boyfriend Jared. I really liked this, Napoleon and Wellington were credible and many great lines (‘Daleks to the Deli counter, the Abba lines…). I also like the fact that on the forums this became known as ‘The Cruise of Dave Ross’
The Fourth Wall let me down or to be fair it let Flip down. This being her second adventure as a companion, or rather first after joining the TARDIS, it seemed unfortunate that she spent so much time not in the story! The supposed suspense of ‘was she dead’ was rather diluted by already knowing she was in the third part of the trilogy. Again some great dry humour (‘it looks like a quarry’) and I quite liked the scenes in the TARDIS at the top and tail about ‘what do I do now / let’s watch the cricket’. I suspect the actors, writers and producers enjoyed poking through the internal fourth wall more than I enjoyed listening
Wirrn Isle was for me the strongest episode with Flip dominating the first episode (to make up for dying in the last!) and the whole set-up with Wirrn, the supposedly tight family, young Toasty (too nice for words) and a story that slowly unpeeled from the confines of Loch Lomond to the whole of Nerva City. Arguably too much attention to the transmat though it did allow for the reveal of Toasty’s parentage which was a nice touch. Exploring deeper did let one wonder how it could transmat things with no DNA (not just clothes but supplies in general) though this shouldn’t divert from a well rounded production
I hope Flip comes back; next year we expect Mel but who knows, maybe in the specials?