Doctor Who Audio Review: The Letter Of Death

The Last Post is a Doctor Who audio play from The Companion Chronicles range released by Big Finish.  It was initially released in 2012 and stars Caroline John alongside Rowena Cooper.  James Goss is the writer of this particular episode which was ably directed by Lisa Bowerman.  This is a rather bittersweet release because it was the last recording done by Caroline John shortly before her demise.  John of course was known to Doctor Who fans as Liz Shaw, the first assistant to Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in the television series.  Cooper is introduced as Emily Shaw, Liz’s spirited and charming mother.

The basic premise of this story if that Liz is looking into some deaths of prominent British figures after they had received a letter predicting the time and date of their demise.  The Doctor is a bit distracted initially turns to her mother for assistance.  It seems Emily has a history of studying old prophecies and curses and may have some insight into these peculiar occurrences.

An interesting aspect to this story is that it takes some time to unravel the mystery and each of the four televisions stories in which Liz was featured gets a bit of a nod.  Caroline John put in a pretty engaging performance presumably in spite of being quite ill.  Rowena Cooper was also a wise casting choice as well.  The two seem to have a believable chemistry.

Goss has contributed quite a bit to Big Finish over the years and tells a pretty interesting story consistent;y, although I am not sure that one listen is quite enough to fully understand what was behind this particular menace.  There were some moments of clever nods to the history of that era.  It’s probably not the most spectacular story in the range, but it’s reasonably enjoyable.

Although Liz Shaw as a character can turn up in other forms of Doctor Who media and has at least once been played by John’s daughter in later audio release, the fans were deprived much too soon of the original actress who brought her to life.

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