Doctor Who Short Trips: Flywheel Revolution by Dale Smith (E-audio review).

The first ‘Short Trips’ from Big Finish for 2015 is ‘Flywheel Revolution’, a story about the First Doctor and is read by Peter Purves, who was the companion Steven. Being old enough to remember Peter’s narration of ‘Bleep And Booster’ on BBC’s ‘Blue Peter’ programme for kids in the 1960s may possible put me in a special category but I think it is professionally and thoughtfully done. Each of the new ‘Short Trips’ stories will be read by an original cast member who will have travelled with the relevant Doctor. ‘Flywheel Revolution’ is a tale of robotic sentience and a Doctor who finds the meaning of freedom.


In this thirty minute story, we learn about Frankie who patrols the junkyard where he and his fellow damaged mechanicals have been condemned to wander. He explains the history of his planet and how this has come to be so beautifully, I defy you not to feel a little bit watery-eyed. His language, which seeks to find common ground with the monstrous ‘Doctor’ is an exercise in clarity and given that this takes place in a very short story it achieves its aims admirably.

Here, Wall-E meets The Doctor. We get an idea of the culture clash between the wandering Gallifreyan and this inexplicably alive robot and find out how he is able to look into the heart of a problem and offer his help. This is ultimately an optimistic story.

Although short the story written by Dale Smith is one that can be enjoyed again, I particularly admired the construction of the plot and the descriptions where the robot tries to relate its own appearance to that of the ‘monster’ he faces. It offers a glimpse into otherness and how we take for granted that ‘others’ see the world in the same way.

I’m looking forward to the next bite-sized adventure which are only available as downloads from the Big Finish website.

Sue Davies

February 2015

(pub: Big Finish. 22 minute story. Price: Download: £ 2.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-392-4)

narrator: Peter Purves

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