August 2009 brought us The Glorious Revolution a Second Doctor Companion Chronicle written by Jonathan Morris. Directed by Nigel Fairs this is a Jamie led story performed by Frazer Hines with Andrew Fettes who at the time of writing has been in a dozen Big Finish releases from several ranges.
Frazer performs some of my favourite Second Doctor stories such as Shadow of Death so I looked forward to this as I loaded into my car CD player. How did it do? Find out…
As usual I start with the synopsis from the Big Finish product page:
After years as a companion to the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon was returned to his own world and his own time, and his memories of his travels were erased. Until now.
A visitor from beyond the stars needs to explore Jamie’s past, and discover what went wrong. What happened in the year 1688, when the TARDIS landed in London, and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe were welcomed into the court of King James II.
It was the year of the Glorious Revolution. And the birth of a whole new history…
We start with Jamie as an old man meeting a visitor who restores his memory of travelling with the Doctor. The visitor is from a ‘celestial agency’ and he is investigating some damage to the time line.
Jamie recounts a tale that starts with the TARDIS going astray in London and quickly meeting the Queen and babe as they escape from London – James II is under threat from William of Orange. History has James running away and getting captured and setting in motion a lot of significant historic events – as luck would have it Jamie gets involved and persuades a James II to stay. This unsettles history and almost condemns the Doctor and Zoe to death and Jamie briefly becomes a ghost.
Back in Scotland and Jamie is meeting a visitor again and there has been no Jacobite Rebellion, Glencoe or Culloden. Memories restored again Jamie re-lives more of the story and, with the Doctor, abducts the King, puts history on track and is offered his memories on a permanent basis.
Given this is produced by Nigel Fairs I felt that his touch was light and this may have been due to this story not being an emotional roller-coaster unlike others. Where the direction is strong is when Jamie gets angry with the Doctor and argues about ‘can’t interfere with history unless it’s the Doctor who want to.’
This is where Jonathan Morris’s story scores – it addresses the core of who Jamie is, a Jacobite. Of course he would want James II to stay as king and avoid the terrible history about to befall Scotland and Ireland.
Jamie is quickly disabused as to James’s true character and has to rescue the Doctor and Zoe from Judge Jeffries and the gallows. This seems somewhat rushed but this is only a single disc so we forgive it. There are some quirks with the plot – Zoe does little and the way the King is kidnapped is a little trite but overall this is a well researched story that moves along with some pace.
I liked this story and the couple of quibbles are almost me looking for something to say; in reality there is little wrong with this and it is an enjoyable listen.