Season 7 of the Companion Chronicles kicks off with The Time Museum (there was a First Doctor tale called The Space Museum) performed by William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and Philip Pope (as Pendolin) and written by James Goss (who produced some Torchwood tales I reviewed here).
The last few Ian Chesterton tales that I heard impressed me (e.g. The Revenants reviewed here) so I was very much looking forward to kicking off my first ever CC subscription with a good story. Was I to be rewarded for my enthusiasm? There’s onlyone way to find out…
Ian wakes with his memory playing up to find himself running around a museum (or at least Annex thereof) dedicated to his life! Rather than find the time to be flattered he is propelled on a whirlwind tour through his own past (essentially that with the Doctor) around various scenes drawn from both the TV shows and other Big Finish works. All the while Pendolin confirms that they are being persued by rampaging aliens intent on draining Ian’s memories as they destroy the museum.
Inevitably Pendolin is the villain and Ian has to find it within himself to defeat him by drawing on a particular memory from the much maligned cavemen segment of the first ever story Unearthly Child / 100,000 BC. The (spoiler) moment was Ian persuading the Doctor to not kill and injured caveman with a stone; here Ian changed the Doctor but the twist is that the moment also changed Ian. From this Ian is able to draw the strength to leave Pendolin to his fate and escape.
This is excellently thought through – we have Coal Hill school in fine detail and also a scene in which Ian loses his own identity and channels the Doctor. This gives we fans the frisson of excitement at picturing old friends and helps lift a plot which suffers slightly from the problem that two-handed tales have few people to draw on to be the villain.
Sound was fine, William Russell and Philip Pope are both on good form and everthing else was as good as ever.
This story was (I believe) meant to be saved for the 50th anniversary and it would have served very well as a chance to reminisce. I enjoyed it; it may not be a classic but it is good. Enough of my gassing, what did you think?