It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the Short Trips range, with both Her Own Bootstraps and The Meaning of Red (both by authors new to Big Finish!) being released, as well as the two Time Lord Victorious releases Master Thief and Lesser Evils (review here). With these two being released to close together, then, I’ve decided to combine their reviews into one post.
“Her Own Bootstraps” by Amy Veeres
September’s Short Trip is Her Own Bootstraps, written by Big Finish newcomer Amy Veeres. Veeres writes an excellent first script, fleshing out a scene from 2005’s Rose, which saw Clive talk about the Doctor being sighted on Krakatoa before it erupted. This story follows the Ninth Doctor as he attempts to stop a scientist called Althea from using a terrible weapon left over from the Time War, starting off as an action-packed adventure before settling down and turning into an intimate, well-written ‘two-hander’ full of some great dialogue.
Jacob Dudman narrates, once again showing his immense talent from bringing the different incarnations of the Doctor to life. His impression of Christopher Eccleston is shockingly accurate, and his voice for Althea is distinctive and characterful too. Both characters are very strongly characterised by Veeres, with Althea serving as a parallel to the post-Time War Ninth Doctor, in several, sometimes succinct, ways.
Richard Fox‘s sound design is on point throughout, bringing the quiet, sandy shores of Krakatoa and fast-paced vortex manipulator chases to life with equal flair. There’s also some great music here, which adds to the atmosphere.
Overall, this is a great debut script for Amy Veeres, and another great Short Trip. Recommended.
“The Meaning of Red” by Rod Brown
October’s release is The Meaning of Red, written by Rod Brown. Narrated by Nicola Bryant, this story focuses on Peri, who, after being stranded on the alien planet of Calleto, must work with a group of human colonists to survive a terrible force wreaking havoc there.
This Short Trip starts off a traditional base under siege story, but then develops into something a little more creative and exciting. The focus here is, of course, on Peri, with the Doctor only appearing briefly at the start and end of the piece, so there’s a lot of great moments for her. Her background, particularly her family and her time studying botany, get particular exploration here, which is great.
Bryant narrates well, using her natural English accent for the prose and then putting on her American accent for Peri’s dialogue. This helps to keep things fresh, separating the ‘character’ of the narrator from that of Peri. She also brings the other characters to life with suitable distinction, so that we can tell who’s who.
Overall, this is a creative, exciting and, ultimately, touching and heartfelt Short Trip and a great Big Finish debut for Rod Brown. Highly recommended.
Her Own Bootstraps and The Meaning of Red are both now available as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com