Now It’s The Eleventh’s Turn For Some Chronicles

“The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles” is a Doctor Who audio boxset with four adventures released by Big Finish Productions. Jacob Dudman, who did this for “The Tenth Doctor Chronicles”, returns with a pretty good impression of Matt Smith’s version of the Time Lord and also narrates the stories.  Each entry drops in at various points of the Eleventh Doctor’s timeline.  I also came to appreciate Dudman’s talent for concocting other voices when presenting other characters.  As with the last set, there is another actor performing alongside Dudman in each episode. AK Benedict starts off with his contribution entitled “The Calendar Man” which also features Eleanor Crooks as a character named Olivia.  The Doctor and Amy Pond arrive on a colony world in the far future where some of the population are disappearing, and only one woman seems to notice.  The Doctor finds out that a malevolent legend known to his own people seems to be at the root of the mystery.  It’s a pretty good start to the set. It was pretty well written but nothing I would call that extraordinary.

“The Top of the Tree” by Simon Guerrier has the Doctor accompanied by Kazron Sardick, played by Danny Horn.  Kazron was the character from the Doctor Who episode “A Christmas Carol” who basically went on annual trips in the TARDIS in his younger years which contributed to him not being the familiar miserly cuss known in stories with this title.  The Doctor and Kazron arrive entangled in a very large tree where they encounter the denizens of this natural habitat.  It’s an interesting setting and seems to follow the man vs. nature concept in many stories.

I think my favorite would have to be “The Light Keepers”  by Roy Gill where the Doctor is reunited with Dorium Maldovar, the alien bar owner with his hands in all kinds of schemes.  Simon Fisher-Becker returns to the role on this tale which takes place before his beheading in the television series.  Of course, a simple beheading didn’t really spell the end of Dorium.  Anyway, when the Doctor crashes his TARDIS into Dorium’s bar, he is convinced to investigate the mysterious lighthouse where the Beacon People are engaged in some kind of mining operation.  Of course, an ancient force is about to awaken.  This was one story where I almost thought there was a third actor.  Dudman does a great voice for the leader of the Beacon People where it kind of threw me.  Also, Dudman is a very young man in his early twenties which sort of makes the vocal feat a bit more impressive.  The banter between Dorium and the Doctor is very amusing.  They’re pretty reluctant allies, which never fails to make the story a little fresher.

Alice Cavender’s “False Coronets” is the concluding episode and features Nathalie Buscombe as Jane Austen.  This time Clara Oswald is the companion, and she and the Doctor find the celebrated authoress awaiting her execution.  Jane Austen gets to assist the TARDIS crew in correcting the flow of history.  I thought it was a pretty good story for the most part.

None of the stories in this collection hit a particularly sour note.  Dudman’s impression of Matt Smith was quite convincing.  He is also very talented as a narrator and plays the other characters quite effectively as well.  Although many may have their preferences for favorite episodes, nothing in the set felt like a disappointment.

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