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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
The Companion Chronicles
The Apocalypse Mirror


Author: Eddie Robson
Performed by: Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
RRP: £8.99 (CD), £7.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 78178 066 4
Release Date: 31 May 2013

The TARDIS lands in the city of Tromesis on Earth – but it’s a world far from the one that the Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot recognise. The buildings are ruined, the streets are deserted, and against the devastation they see a ghostly mirror image of another place – the city as it was before disaster hit. People vanish here, and huge metal birds swoop down from the sky. Can the Doctor find the future, in a place that doesn’t appear to have one…?

A desolate urban setting, a sinister hollow voice… it really is like looking in a mirror, for the aforementioned aspects of The Apocalypse Mirror reminded me of a couple of previous Big Finish releases featuring the Second Doctor and Jamie: The Three Companions and The Forbidden Time. Even the dinging incidental music by Richard Fox and Lauren Yason is similar.

I also found the Doctor’s game of keepie-uppie in the opening TARDIS scene a bit out of character. This seems more like something that the Eleventh Doctor would get up to rather than the Second. Perhaps their conversation in Shadow of Death put the idea in his head!

In other respects, though, Eddie Robson’s story is fresh, exciting and intriguing. He presents the TARDIS travellers with something that they never really faced during Patrick Troughton’s time on the television show: a proper, human-made dystopia. There is plenty of food for thought here. This morality tale touches on a number of interesting points, mainly political, including voter lethargy, the importance of honesty in a politician, and the power of positive thinking.

I felt rather uplifted by the ending – so much so that I almost forgot to take note of Frazer Hines’s excellent Troughton impersonation. This is now such a fixture of Frazer’s Companion Chronicles, and he carries it off with such apparent ease, that there is a danger of taking it for granted. Producer David Richardson admits, in the seven minutes of interviews at the end of the CD, that he does endeavour to get the most out of his performer – in response to which Hines points out that he ought to get an extra fee, and I think he’s only half joking!

All in all, The Apocalypse Mirror reflects well on all involved.


Richard McGinlay

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