It has been pointed out to me that reviewers don’t give the Subscriber Short Trips much attention. In the first of an occasional campaign I turn the spotlight on these free (to subscribers) and perfectly formed stories.
This batch were all read by Stephen Critchlow.
String Theory by Kini Brown: is a Fourth Doctor and Leela story centred around the mystery of a missing violin. This prompts a trip to 18th century Italy and a meeting with Stradivarius. It’s a tightly written story focussing on Leela and her reaction to classical music and the violin in particular. Kini avoids keeping it simple, and also gives the Doctor the odd tricky decision. A good piece of writing, and Stephen Critchlow gives a reasonable impression of the Doctor.
Sphinx Lightning by John Pritchard: a Third Doctor and Jo story set after World War II and pitching the Doctor against his favourite target – the military mind. The mood is downbeat and melancholy throughout and works to make the ending one that will stay with the listener after the end music.
The Warren Legacy by Julian Richards: another Fourth Doctor tale, this time with Romana I and a fascinating alien race called the Kwell (Quell?). This story starts on a dark and stormy night, and manages to reuse that same line two more times. Around that is a tale of time travel, destiny and assassins. Of all the stories in this set of four, this is the one I most wanted to hear as a full cast production. In the space of 30 minutes it skims across the surface of the story, leaves nothing out but still I would have enjoyed having this extended to a full episode.
The Caves of Erith by Alice Cavender: a return for Lucie Miller and the Eighth Doctor even if not in voice. This was released in December and is set on December 23/24, so full marks for seasonality. Set near Bristol its a tale of non-human races, teenage certainties, ecology and cooked breakfast. It’s a serious story with a distinct setting (the caves) and ties in well to the other Lucie Miller stories.