Doctor Who Audio Review: The Companions Have More Stories To Tell

The Companion Chronicles: The First Doctor: Volume One is a Doctor Who audio boxset which features more adventures told from the perspective of various companions. This version of the Doctor would be played by William Hartnell if he was still among the living and able to participate in these Big Finish releases. There are four episodes directed by Lisa Bowerman.

The Sleeping Blood written by Martin Day starts off this set with Carole Ann Ford returning to mic as Susan. Darren Strange pitches in as the guest actor. As the Doctor is stricken with a debilitating illness, Susan has to help thwart a terrorist attack aboard a research center. This is not the most memorable of adventures either way. It does have a pretty strong ending, and Ford does well with her performance. This just didn’t keep my attention as well as I had hoped.

The Unwinding World is written by Ian Potter and stars Maureen O’Brien as Vicki with Alix Dunmore helping out as the guest actor. This is another one that I am having a harder time remembering with any great clarity. Vicki is separated from the Doctor and working some kind of office job, but she is planning to return to a more exciting life once she is reunited with the TARDIS.

Simon Guerrier writes the last two stories which has Peter Purves returning to the role of Steven Taylor. The Founding Fathers and The Locked Room are a drastic improvement. Steven was left by the Doctor to rule a world. He abdicated the throne and is now an old man with granddaughters. His favorite granddaughter has followed in his footsteps, and she hears another story where the Doctor, Steven, and Vicki meet one Benjamin Franklin in London as an alien influence keeps them locked out of the TARDIS. Finally, Sida, who is played by Alice Haig, finally meets the Doctor when an old enemy makes an appearance on Steven’s planet.

This set has a bit of an unremarkable start with the first two stories being somewhat forgettable, however Guerrier saves it for me at the end. Really, Purves is also a fantastic narrator as well. He does a pretty good impression of William Hartnell’s Doctor. It isn’t like he can do a great imitation, but there is something about his performance as the Doctor that I like. I will likely have a more favorable reaction to the other two stories once I hear them again. Potter and Day aren’t terrible as writers, but their contributions just didn’t grab me all that tight. In spite of that, I am still pleased to add this particular set to the collection.

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