Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
In the latest ‘Short Trips’ release, Anneke Wills performs the Jonathan Barnes penned ‘Falling’ featuring the 1st Doctor, Ben & Polly.Polly, years after travelling with the Doctor is preparing to move with her now husband Ben. As she gets things ready she feels apprehensive about the move from the house where they have so many memories. She comes across an artifact from her & Ben’s travels with the Doctor and it reminds her that change can be for the best and maybe something different and new is not to be feared.
This story enjoys the early Doctor Who style of taking it’s time to set the scene. The descriptive language used is very rich and gives you a nice picture of events. The only problem with that is, they have 37 minutes to tell a story. I was wondering if they were going to end up galloping at the end. They do not. Instead this feels more like a prequel of sorts.
Mild spoilers, but this is set just before the Doctors 1st regeneration and serves as a foreshadowing of it.
It’s nice to get a feeling of where Polly’s head was at when it perhaps was not fully explored on TV and the suggestion of subtext in her relationship with Ben, of maybe a time or 2 she wanted to reach out for him is very enjoyable. I also like the idea that maybe coming toward his first regeneration that the Doctor is worried about it. He’s never died before at this stage after all. It kind of gives a basis for why the first Doctor spent so long getting old before regenerating, when other Doctors died whilst their bodies were still young looking.
It just falls a little short for me in being a fully rounded story. The short trips have always been full of clever devices for making a full story out of around 40 minutes. This doesn’t feel quite as satisfying as some others. It’s not bad, just not outstanding. Anneke Wills on the other hand is and bring a lovely understated performance to match the ‘things suggested but not always said’ style of the piece.
Still well worth a listen, if not my favourite example of the range. I give it a pleasant enough 5/10.
Available exclusively here: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/falling-1360
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