Chris Wing kick off 2016’s Subscriber Short Trips with The Horror at Bletchington Station, a story for the First Doctor and Dodo, as read by Stephen Critchlow. Chris previously wrote The Final Star a story appearing in the 2008 collection Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed My Life. A long overdue return…
One of the joys (as a writer) of the Subscriber Short Trips is the ability to roam anywhere across Doctor Who continuity. With a narrated form, and in this case a non-companion narrator, any set of characters is possible (now where’s my idea for a Katarina story?). Chris Wing has chosen Dodo in a story set during the building of the railway around Bletchington (near where his twitter feed has him living), so it’s Victorian England, that over-popular destination for time travellers.
The story gives a good balance of characters, a threat and a mystery (one which the Doctor is clearly more familiar than he lets on) but actually gives the listener a chance to see inside the minds of the two characters. It is fair easier to have inner thoughts in a story form than a scripted form (though the latter can be achieved, even if it is sometimes forced). In Bletchington Station both the Doctor and Dodo reflect on who they’ve become through travelling; the Doctor is coming to terms with change (and the big one is yet to come), but Dodo too is not who she once was, and faces the understanding she will one day leave the TARDIS.
Stephen Critchlow is spot on as ever in this reading, and any subscriber yet to listen to this should do so immediately!
Have you listened yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know!