Doctor Who: The Eternal Summer
by Jonathan Morris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first two episodes of this are about as fascinating and well-paced as anything Big Finish have ever done: After the explosion of the Rutan spaceship's engines that ended Castle of Fear
, the Doctor and Nyssa wake up in what is apparently Stockbridge in the present day. Where, as far as anyone else is concerned, they've been living for years. Which is strange in itself, but it soon becomes clear that time is behaving very strangely in Stockbridge: each of the inhabitants relives their entire life over the course of each day. And the whole arrangement is overseen by The Lord and Lady of the Manor...
...who, in the cliffhanger to episode 2, are revealed to be the Doctor and Nyssa, who have been ruling over Stockbridge, trapped in a time bubble, for a million years or more. And who have become strange psychic vampires, feeding off the energies of the villagers.
Then the time bubble starts to collapse, putting the world in danger, and there's an entity called Veridios (also mentioned in Castle of Fear
, if I recall correctly) who is somehow behind the Doctor and Nyssa's transformation into evil vampires, and some researchers from the Psychic Investigation Group (PIG). By the time we get to the end of the play, it's all a bit jumbled. (I've already had one go at trying to explain how the ending works over on Gallifrey Base. The short version: wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.)
Still, it's a really fun play. Morris does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life. I really found myself caring about the villagers, and I'm honestly still a bit peeved that at the end Morris undoes the sweetly geeky budding romance between Maxwell Edison and Lizzie Corrigan. Also, Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are clearly having so much fun getting to play villains for a change that their enthusiasm is infectious. View all my reviews >>