Friday, August 3, 2012

The Time Museum: A Companion Chronicle

A bit of a change for the blog today in order to get my blogging technique back up to scratch after the holiday break, which went on slightly longer than intended due the problems of the real world aka work.

So 'The Time Museum' isn't an Eighth Doctor Big Finish but a bang up-to-date just released Companion Chronicle starring William Russell as Ian Chesterton and Philip Pope as Pendolin. It's a two part tale and rather charming.

Ian awakes to find himself an exhibit in a Time Museum. He's an older Ian scooped out of time and his memories plundered to fill a dusty section of this Time Museum. It's a rather natty little conceit. It also turns out that he - and the Museum - are under attack. His memories being sucked dry by some creatures that can be best described as Memory Vampires (Mnemovores perhaps, although they're never given a name in this story). Ian is aided by Pendolin who is - or claims to be - an attendant in the Museum.

However the occasional slip leads us to think that there may be more to him than that.

The story is a well-acted tribute to the earliest days of Doctor Who as Ian remembers (and mixes up) adventures he was involved in, including some other Big Finish stories. It's a clever way of marking the forthcoming 50th Anniversary without over-egging the pudding.

Having Ian as the older version of himself, reflecting William Russell's real 87 years is a good touch too. There's a weariness and wisdom to the older man that makes some of the scenes in the second episode really ring true.

Also, without spoiling, I was impressed with the discussion of a pivotal scene from an early Doctor Who story looked at from a fresh and interesting angle. Admirable.

It also reminded me how much I liked Ian and Barbara as companions. They're often forgotten in 'best of'' polls but they're up there with the Third Doctor and Jo; the Fourth Doctor and Romana II and the Seventh Doctor and Ace as companions for me. Perhaps the forthcoming 50th will get them the recognition they deserved.

There's not much more to add. I should mention that Philip Pope does a fine job as Pendolin too. As a a two-hander it is always good if the actors work well together and these two do, particularly in the second episode.

Well worth a listen both as an adventure for Ian in its own right and a nice tribute to the first seasons of Doctor Who.

And You Can Buy It Here If You Want

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