Big Finish Review – Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles – “The Selachian Gambit”

(special thanks to Big Finish for providing me with a review copy!)

The Doctor doesn’t normally need money, but when the TARDIS is immobilised and a fine has to be paid, a loan from a bank in the sky seems the solution to his problem.

But then the Selachians arrive, and the Doctor and his companions find themselves as hostages in the middle of a heist.

Death seems an absolute certainty. But the Doctor, Jamie, Polly and Ben have outwitted death before…

Starring: Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Anneke Wills (Polly Wright)

Well, here we are: my first companion chronicle story to feature the Second Doctor (more or less). Yes, I’ve had quite the saturation of First Doctor stories and one Third Doctor, but this is my first with number two. And how is it?

Quite excellent, actually! The plotline, and especially the outcome of it, seem right at home in the Troughton era. I could easily picture rubber costumes for the actors playing the aliens, and I really loved the notion that the TARDIS gets clamped, thus preventing the crew from leaving until a fine is paid.

As for the performances? Well, here we hit a very slight snag. Most of the Second Doctor’s adventures are missing, and there’s only one intact story with Ben and Polly. That story, “The War Machines“, is the only story I’ve seen with them, and that I only saw once. My brain was so full of the awesomeness that was WOTAN saying, “Doctor Who is required!” that I’ve largely forgotten everything else (though Dodo just sort of wandering off and not coming back was pretty memorable, too). As a result, I can’t say how good of a job Wills and Hines do in channeling the spirit of Ben or how good of a job Wills does slipping back into her role as Polly. I will say that I enjoyed hearing her and that both performances were very good. I must also give particular note to Hines’ excellent work as the Second Doctor. I heard he was very good in the role, and now I’ve got proof. He really is exceptional.

So an excellent story and wonderful acting. Easily the one of the best companion chronicles I’ve heard, right up there with “The Perpetual Bond”. It’s only $8 to download, so go download it, already!


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