Paul Phipps, better known for his work on the Dark Shadows range wrote the latest (September 2018) Big Finish Short Trips, a First Doctor adventure, A Small Semblance of Home, read by Carole Ann Ford. It’s a cunning story of the Doctor’s obsession riding roughshod over the feelings of Barbara, Ian and Susan in his quest for something unspecified. I enjoyed it, but why does it work so well? Let’s chat…
A Small Semblance of Home
First off, Carole Ann Ford is in superb form, with Lisa Bowerman in the director’s chair. She effortlessly gives us the narrator, plus the four TARDIS crew and even the odd other character. It’s a very cosy listen as befits the story. It’s also interesting as to having Barbara at the centre, even with Carole Ann reading. I don’t know it this was producer Ian Atkins’s idea, or Paul Phipps’s, but it works well. It’s early days in the TARDIS, and the Doctor is searching for one vital substance that will make a difference to all future journeys, but in so doing he is prepared to take many risks, perhaps too many.
The story has a delightful payoff, which listeners may spot before the reveal, but it’s of no import, the ending is delightful. Paul Phipps has a great handle on the feel of the time and Barbara as a person. More please!