There are those that argue that Adric as a character never really got a fair chance during his time with the Doctor – the regeneration from Fourth to Fifth Doctor altered the dynamic yet further from the one that he knew with Romana and K9 when he first came on board on Alzarius. Joseph Lidster’s tale turns back the clock to that halcyon period, predicating a much longer sojourn in E-Space than we saw on screen, with a friendship starting to build between the two Time Lords and the stowaway that was much deeper than perhaps we were led to believe.
It’s off that base that Lidster’s story builds. It’s a tale that makes good use of the audio medium – it seems unusual at first, and almost as if it might be trying to get round a technical problem, but then what’s happening sinks in, and you realise that you’re listening to something that can really only be told in this way. As the story went on, I was betting with myself as to who the second voice was likely to be but when it took a sharp left turn midway through, all bets were off. (The scheduling didn’t help this: it’s a similar audio conceit to one used very recently.)
Matthew Waterhouse has never been better in the role of Adric, and it’s enough that I wonder how he would have dealt with playing the older Adric encountered some years back (played by Andrew Sachs). Lisa Bowerman’s direction brings out all the different sides to the character, all of which are demonstrated in Lidster’s sensitive script. Rob Harvey’s score and sound design complement them all, and the short download from it is welcome (and read his notes on the BF website about it).
Verdict: Another Short Trip that hits all the right points in writing, performance and production. 10/10