Short Trips: Erasure review


March 201 ended with the release of the Short Trips story Erasure. It’s noteworthy for several reasons. First it’s written and directed by Garry Russell, former Doctor Who producer for Big Finish (1998-2006) and much else besides (actor, writer, DWM editor…). The story is also the first appearance in the range for Narvin, a major player in the Gallifrey range of stories, played by Seán Carlsen. Apart from that, it’s a story involving the Fourth Doctor and Adric, and of course the CIA (Celestial Intervention Agency). Let’s compare notes…


First some clues from the product page:

The Celestial Intervention Agency, a shadowy, unspoken of part of the Time Lord hierarchy. Beloved and loathed in equal measure by various Presidents and High Councils the millennias over. But they serve a very important function: they keep the time lines safe and clear – they do the darker, dirtier jobs that most Time Lords would prefer not to know even need doing.

CIA Sub-Coordinator Narvin has always taken his oath to uphold the Worshipful Laws of Gallifrey very seriously. But when he is sent on a mission to investigate the planet Bellascon, even he hasn’t reckoned with the force of nature that is the Fourth Doctor, who has – one might say – his own way of dealing with things, and his own views on people like Narvin. But somehow the two must overcome their instincts and work together to stop the web of time being erased forever…

The planet Bellascon might present a problem to the Time Lords. hence Narvin’s trip, made complicated by the presence of the Doctor and Adric. As Narvin tells his tale (and gives us insight into aspects of his personality we might not otherwise have seen), Seán Carlsen’s reading takes us on a journey, even if his style doesn’t include impersonation, more hinting at the vocal style of other characters. The story is measured and allows both Narvin and the Doctor to demonstrate their perspective, a good trick well realised by Garry Russell.

It’s a tidy story with nice twists, and another great example of what this range can deliver. Producer Ian Atkins is handing the reins over to a new producer who has a lot to live up to. Erasure is another solid release and sure to please listeners.

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