Enjoyed this and surprisingly well read by Dudman.
These Subscriber Short Trips are beginning to feel a bit repetitive, though. I wish they weren’t so constrained in the type of story that they’re seemingly wanting; routinely emotional with some sort of twist or motive from the lead character. I suppose not being able to use existing companions or have the character imply they have further adventures with the Doctor limits it somewhat; the character has to feel rounded and invested in just a few minutes and emotionally driven is the way to do it.
Post by selimpensfiction on Dec 30, 2021 16:44:19 GMT
I loved this! Here's roughly what I said on Twitter: Not only is the Lichyrwick Abomination a worthy PSMST, it's one of my favourite Short Trips period. Jacob Dudman's narration and voice of the Doctor was excellent, and the story, about forgiveness and self forgiveness, was wonderful.
A dark, terrifying yet emotional Short Trip by Joe Vevers, with brilliant narrating by Jacob Dudman. The Lichyrwick Abomination brings a FANTASTIC sense of closure to 2021, and it's one trip of a lifetime!
I wonder how many scripts, on average, Big Finish gets for these contests... I kind of assume it must be a fair number, given that we sometimes hear them talking about inviting people whose submissions were not chosen to write something else for them, later. I wonder this here and now because The Lichyrwick Abomination is a fantastically refreshing story and I can't help but think that if Big Finish did more contests, or openly solicited scripts, we might get more stories like this -- or at least a more diverse array of styles.
Because, yeah, this is very different to usual fare. I think it's down to a very insular approach: the Doctor is here, doing his Doctorly things, but we spend very little time with him--or any other characters. We're mostly stuck inside the head of the narrator as he (we eventually learn) relates his life story. Or perhaps put more specifically, the one story of his life he can't help but come back to. You really get this lovely sense of the fullness of his life--the exact placement of the POV is vague, but it's implied that the narrator's mother has long-since last, so it feels like a life nearing its end. We have an old man looking back on a single day in his life as a teenager, coupled with the fun little parallel of said day including a his teenage self getting a peek into a single day of his life as a much younger child. It's quite kaleidoscopic.
Which is not a word I could use to describe any other Big Finish audio I've listened to.
And while it's more subtext than text, the framing device for the story makes me think of Love and Monsters--an episode many people seem to have disliked intensely, but was always one of my favorites. I just really love the idea of catching a glimpse into "what happens next" -- after the Doctor leaves and the TARDIS dematerializes. This, more than anything else, give Doctor Who that elusive mythic, fairy tale quality: a single unprecedented, unparalleled day. Quite unlike all the others. One that defies the human tendency to forget.
Oh no. I'm getting excessively abstract (it's one of those sorts of days, y'see). Time to baton down the hatches and find some firmer footing.
So. Jacob Dudman is not a performer I have much experience with, though I've certainly heard a lot about him. Mostly mixed things on his impersonations. I can't speak to his work in the Chronicles range, but I think his performance here in Lichyrwick is pretty damned good. I hesitate to say this, but I almost think his 9th Doctor has a bit more range than Christopher Eccleston's--at least on audio--though he has so few lines as the Doctor here that it's hard to say. I was certainly impressed by the ease with which he transitioned between the Doctor's voice and his own (I assume) natural speaking voice. It certainly gave the story a very compelling texture, if that makes any sense.
And lastly, before I forget, I must comment on the elephant in the room: here we have no monsters, no villains, no violence. Just a handful of characters talking their way through a mystery and it's resolution. Intelligence is crucial, yes; compassion even moreso. This is Doctor Who at its very best.
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