December 2019’s Doctor Who Short Trips: Peace in Our Time is an intriguing story from Una McCormack, performed by Peter Purves. As you’d imagine it’s a First Doctor and Steven Taylor tale, and for a change [sic!] we’re in London…
Peace in Our Time
This isn’t a World War II introduction story (despite the title) but it does have war (and peace) very much as a theme. The synopsis gives a little away:
A family meal, interrupted. Government papers, stolen. Social etiquette, ignored.
Ruby Watkins is the over-worked and unappreciated maid of the Gledhill family. Answering the door midway through serving dinner, she finds Mr Gledhill’s junior at the War Office, Mr Taylor, is here to see him on urgent business. For some unknown reason, he’s brought a doctor with him…
The story starts with the intrigue – no slow build up here. Ruby is very much the point of view and Steven the main other character. It’s set in Edwardian London and echoes themes of the time. A careful scrutiny of the cover gives another clue – Suffragettes. This story is about a resourceful woman (Ruby), spies, war and also manages to point out the downside of many Doctor Who stories – who puts the pieces back together when the Doctor leaves, job done. Someone can always sort out the mess! (There’s a story idea in here).
We have familiar London tropes as well as with one bound he was free moment when the Doctor makes an undocumented off-stage escape. Niggles aside it’s a good story, well performed by Peter and tightly directed (as ever) by Lisa Bowerman.