Doctor Who: Time Wake & Other Stories (CD review).

This audio collectively called ‘Time Wake & Other Stories’ has taken tales from the various BBC ‘Doctor Who Annuals’ and voiced them with different actors. It’s an interesting idea and you get a real sense of the style of the stories from the different time periods. They go from the First to the Sixth Doctor. There is a lot of the Doctor as ‘Doctor Who’ as he was often referred to in this way in the old days. It’s interesting to listen how much the Doctor’s history has been changed over the years proving there are several points where you can, if you wish stop at and refuse to accept any more change.

Included with the stories are a couple of little inserts or sidebars of interest from the annuals. Sadly, I’ve not found who wrote the various stories and snippets as there are no author credits. The added snippets capture a little bit of the joy of Doctor Who especially when discussing catching sight of a police box might mean you are seeing the TARDIS. No wonder small kids were captivated by this as called hidden knowledge.

The Sons Of The Crab read by Dan Starkey

  This sees the First Doctor grappling with scientists in the Crab Nebula where the human form has degraded beyond help. This is quite a futuristic story for the 1960s and deals with ideas about the disasters with the misuse of science. Quite a deep subject for a child’s annual!

Only A Matter Of Time read by Anneke Wills

  While Ben still wrestles with the idea of travelling in the TARDIS, the companions find themselves in the middle of what looks like an invasion of Earth.

The line ‘Polly being a girl had a much better grasp of things than Ben’ may well reveal a female writer of this story or maybe someone who did actually grasp the truth in the world even in 1968. This story might be said to be notable for involving multiple dimensions before Doctor Strange.

War In The Abyss read by Jon Culshaw

  This story features climate change, the Third Doctor and Jo Grant, who is worrying about her uncle who is missing from a very large oil rig in Antarctica. Jon Culshaw recounts this in a vivid ‘Boys Own’ adventure manner and it fizzes with energy.

Famine On Planet X read by Louise Jameson.

  This rather charming tale sees the Fourth Doctor and Leela landing on a planet beset by famine and they must take some very particular action to help out.

Night Flight To Nowhere read by Geoffrey Beevers

  This features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and the Master. Tegan is waiting for her friend at an airport and the Doctor is bored. When the friend arrives, she doesn’t know Tegan and is walking like a robot as she’s under some kind of mind control.

Oh no, not mind control again we all gasp but it’s a popular plot device in this and other eras. There’s a clue that the story is read by Geoffrey Beevers and must therefore feature you know who. It has a lot of similarities with TV’s ‘Time Flight’ as it starts in an airport and continues with very similar themes. Looking at the timelines, it could well have been used as source for the Concorde-based story. A word here for the beautiful enunciation by Beevers as its simply delicious.

Time Wake read by Colin Baker

  This story features the Sixth Doctor and Peri. The pair discover a gaping time wake and enthusiastically plunge through it to 1720. They discover a ghastly alien plot which they must foil before they can return. It’s an outrageous story and therefore great fun.

This is an fascinating slice of stories from the 1960s to the 1980s and offer an insight into how ‘Doctor Who’ was story-driven and that the ‘legend’ varied quite considerably. What a fun time to be alive and to receive one of those annuals for Christmas.

Sue Davies

May 2022

(pub: BBC Physical Audio/Penguin, 2022. 1 CD 140 minutes Price: £14.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-52913-874-0)

Narrators: Dan Starkey, Geoffrey Beevers, Anneke Wills, Jon Culshaw, Louise Jameson and Colin Baker

check out website:–time-wake—other-stories/9781529187953.html

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