“The Time Museum” is a Doctor Who audio play from The Companion Chronicles range released by Big Finish Productions. James Goss is the writer here with Lisa Bowerman directing as usual for this particular series. William Russell reprises the role of Ian Chesterton, one of the Doctor’s first companions when the series started on television in 1963. Philip Pope is the talented guest actor alongside Russell. Pope plays a myserious character named Pendolin.
Pendolin curates a Time Museum and has procured the memories and presence of one Ian Chesterton, who resumed his life after leaving the company of the Doctor. Ian is quite a bit older now but no less of an interesting fellow. Pendolin introduces Ian to his own section of this peculiar museum. But another presence sends them both fleeing when an entity who feeds on such memories stalks them through Ian’s memories.
This episode is one of those infrequent numbers where there is no narration. It’s a two-hander piece with the descriptions being relayed through dialogue between the two characters. Russell was closing in on 90 years old when he performed this story in 2012, and he still sounds quite compelling in this one. Pope was a good choice to pay off him as well.
I had some trouble staying into it at the beginning, but the second part sort of hooked me in better. The idea seems to be another excuse for self-indulgence of just revisiting old stories for the sake of nostalgia, and that is likely what it is meant to be. However, it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable nostalgic tale when it was all said and done. There turned out to be surprising depth during a moment when Chesterton discusses how he and Barbara joining the Doctor and Susan ultimately changed everyone for the better. The Doctor wasn’t quite the selfless interfering crusader when he first showed up on British airwaves. Goss adds a rather creative depth to how the Doctor and his first companions affected each other that was never really explored back then on television.
Both actors did a fine job, but that is almost always the case with Big Finish releases, even if the story is a little below par, Fortunately, this episode turned out to be a satisfying addition to the collection.