This month’s Short Trip is These Stolen Hours, a new adventure for the Sixth Doctor and Charley written by Grace Knight. Read by India Fisher, this story sees the Doctor and Charley arrive on a space station made of glass, where a group of researchers have lost their memories of the past two weeks. Joining with scientists Artemis and Marty, they discover that the station is being invaded by parasites… and not for the reason you’d expect. It’s a simple enough plot (though with a great twist towards the end), but the strength of the character work is what makes this such a strong story.
As with last month’s Downward Spiral, These Stolen Hours is told in first-person, with Charley retelling the story after finishing her travels in the TARDIS, Companion Chronicle-style. This means we get some interesting insight into Charley’s thought processes, particularly her feelings on the different Doctors she’s travelled with. Knight clearly has a strong grasp on Charley, nailing her voice right from the get-go, making this a really great showing for the character.
Because this story is being told to us by an older Charley, we get to hear how this adventure has caused her to rethink her own actions, particularly her choice to change history by joining the Sixth Doctor. This means that, while released some eleven years after the Sixth Doctor and Charley’s last adventure in 2009’s Blue Forgotten Planet, this Short Trip fits perfectly into that story arc, fleshing it out even further.
Overall, this is a fantastic little story with a compelling plot, great focus on Charley as a character and vibrant, energetic narration from India Fisher. After this, and her Torchwood story, Iceberg, from earlier on in the year, I’m greatly looking forward to Grace Knight‘s next script. Highly recommended.
These Stolen Hours is available now as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com
If you enjoy these reviews, follow us on Twitter @who__review