Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
I’ve said before in reviews for ‘Short Trips’ how I feel it is a difficult and brave thing to try to fit a whole story that would usually get 2 hours in Big Finish into 40 minutes. Even the TV show gets 45 minutes. So I had just one thought when I saw the Jonathan Barnes story ‘The word beyond the Trees’ was 34.25; what balls!
And he doesn’t rush the story. In the first 5 minutes Nicola Walker as Liv Chenka sets the scene and sets out the framing device; a letter to her Father. The style of Liv Chenka is instantly apparent in the writing and of course in the performance by Nicola Walker. Liv is a great example of a companion Big Finish does so well; that you probably wouldn’t see on TV right now. She is not from present day Earth, she is not a leggy model, she’s just an interesting character. She seems to see the world in a different and interesting way.
It’s also nice to have something set in between Big Finish stories from the ‘Dark Eyes’ era.
The story revolves around the world having stopped and Liv finding herself alone; but not for long as she finds one other person not affected. With the Doctor being away at the time and only in Liv’s dreams; she must solve this one. Of course there is more to it than that, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it.
For me, I really enjoyed the story, framing and the delivery; but I felt the way it was concluded felt a little rushed and where as it was a brave move to come in under time, maybe it could use the other 5 minutes so as the end felt as satisfying as the beginning.
7/10 Sonic Screwdrivers.
You can buy this short trip here: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/the-world-beyond-the-trees-1356
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