REVIEW: “Dead Media”

The Twelfth Doctor returns for a second time this year with Dead Media, the latest in the Short Trips series. Read by impressionist Jake Dudman, this release is told in the style of a podcast narrated by the Doctor himself, and tells the story of how he and a student named Petra discovered an alien being in the A/V Club of St. Luke’s University.

First, let’s talk about Dudman’s impression of Capaldi. For some reason, even having listened to his fantastic impressions of David Tennant and Matt Smith in The Doctor Chronicles, I entered this story with some trepidation, perhaps because Peter Capaldi has such a rich, distinctive voice. Well, it turns out my fears were for nothing!

Dudman-as-Capaldi is incredible. Not only does he get the accent down, which is hard in and of itself, but he also nails the inflections and emphasis which, with an actor as delightfully unpredictable as Peter Capaldi, is no mean feat! Seriously, this is a really great performance, and I can’t wait to hear The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles when they release in January 2020.

Written by John Richards, this story is filled with the most incredible dialogue. From moments of hilarity, to moments of biting pathos, this story has everything. The plot is unique, harnessing the audio medium like no other story has, and the characterisation of the Twelfth Doctor is utterly faithful. What a fantastic debut for John Richards!

The sound design on Dead Media is also impeccable. The audio medium is harnessed incredibly well, with skipping tracks and echoes à la those found on a corrupted tape. Plaudits to Richard Fox for his work here!

Final Thoughts

Overall, Dead Media is not only the best Short Trip of the year so far, but one of the best in the range overall. With a great script from John Richards, a stellar performance from Jake Dudman and shockingly good sound design, it’s safe to say that Doctor Who at Big Finish doesn’t get much better than this! Faultless.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dead Media is available as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com

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