Doctor Who Audio Review: Moving Through Time But Not Space Yet

Stranded 2 is a Doctor Who audio boxset from Big Finish Productions. Ken Bentley is in the director’s seat as Paul McGann leads the cast as the Eighth Doctor. He is joined by a cast that includes Nicola Walker, Hattie Morahan, Rebecca Root, Tom Price, and Tom Baker. There are four episodes that make up this collection.

The TARDIS had been immobilized in 21st century London. The Doctor, Liv Chenka, and Helen Sinclair have taken refuge in the Time Lord’s house on Baker Street. The house has become a charming little apartment complex, and the Doctor has become a reluctant landlord as he attempts to repair his TARDIS. At the end of the previous set, the TARDIS regained the ability to travel through time, however the manual says it should travel through space as well. So the Doctor has a bit more work to do, however the dangers haven’t left him alone to work.

Matt Fitton starts off the set with Dead Time. The Doctor, his companions, and a couple of the Baker Street residents take the TARDIS very far into the future where there is no other human being. There is an artificial intelligence waiting to cause some problems. This turned out to be a pretty decent kick off for this set. The characters split up a bit. One of the characters is a transgender woman named Tania Bell, who knows more about the Doctor than she should. Of course, Tania is played by a transgender actress named Rebecca Root. The Doctor and Tania have some interesting interactions. Doctor Who often indulges in double acts. Anyway, this one was competently written. As usual when it comes to Big Finish, the performances and post production effects really helps.

UNIT Dating is written by Roy Gill. The Doctor needs to borrow some equipment from a prior incarnation who was still the scientific advisor for UNIT in the 1970’s. The audience gets to hear the origin of the relationship between two gay old men who reside in the Baker Street house. These two old guys met while they were working with UNIT. Jon Culshaw reprises the character of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who was originally played by the late Nicholas Courtney. David Shaw-Parker and Jeremy Clyde play these two fellows. The story was a little intriguing because the Doctor’s presence in his own past was causing reality to shift around the couple, and memories were no longer adding up as they should. I kind of lost interest in this one.

Baker Street Irregulars is written by Lisa McMullin. The Doctor has a couple of sisters in the TARDIS has they travel back to the Second World War. Liv and Tania have a bomb to defuse as they work out some bumps in their relationship. The sisters learn what their grandmother was up to during the war,. This episode was better. There was a pretty engaging spy thriller at the heart of it.

Finally, the set concludes with John Dorney’s The Long Way Home. The Doctor and his friends are about thirty years in the future facing a mysterious interrogator. Meanwhile, the man known as the Curator is getting to know a young girl who has noticed the regular disappearances of a blue police box. This was actually the best episode in this series. Tom Baker returns as the Curator and is as compelling as usual.

This particular set was pretty mediocre in a lot of ways. The writers are trying to do some character exploration here, which I don’t usually mind. I am intrigued enough to purchase the two upcoming sets in this series. This is the series where Big Finish pretty much just goes woke. The Doctor being stuck in a house as a landlord is sort of an entertaining idea, but I am ready to have him more fully mobile. There is still some interesting story ideas here, and I look forward to seeing how this all concludes, however I doubt this will become a favorite era for me.

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