September 2019 brought us Doctor Who – Short Trips: Dead Media a first Big Finish piece for writer John Richards and a first for a Jacob Dudman vocalised Twelfth Doctor. It’s set during the Doctor’s time at university in Bristol, though no Nardole who has borrowed the TARDIS to pop back to 1974’s Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton…
The blurb gives a sense of the story:
Like everyone else in 2017, the Doctor is doing a podcast. Named the ‘People of St Lukes’, the podcast is about the everyday lives of students at the university. Only, with the Doctor involved, the everyday is dangerous and extraordinary.
Something’s lurking in the A/V department, something that is trapped in old equipment… as the Doctor quickly discovers, outdated technology does have a role in the modern world.
That role? Ending it.
It’s a story of old-tech versus the new, of C90 cassettes and betamax, analogue versus digital and having to correct your own mistakes. It’s also nicely structured and has very amusing drop-in adverts (it is a podcast after all). Jacob Dudman’s Twelfth Doctor is perhaps even more accented than Capaldi’s but is far more than passable.
It’s a good theme even if there is rather a lot of techie detail. I was personally reminded of the analog vs virtual analog vs digital debate in the world of synthesisers, but that’s just me!
Suffice it to say this is worth a listen, entertaining and a good dose of action as well. The podcast becomes (in a way) the story itself, which I liked.