Shadow of the Past (2010)

Shadow of the Past is the first story to feature Liz Shaw since ‘The Blue Tooth’ back in 2007. Quite why its taken this long to get Caroline John back into the studio is a mystery. This story is another one to come from the mind of Simon Guerrier, the man behind arguably the best Companion Chronicle story ever. This story is Guerrier’s fourth story and whilst I will admit its not his best it was still a good try.

The story is set sometime after the Silurians story which is pretty much in the middle of the 1970 series. The story is centred around a pod that has crashed. The Doctor is quite desperate to rescue the pilot and as the story progresses its about trying to get the Mim back to the rest of its kind. Its quite a simple story but its used to great effect. I quite liked the nod back to Terror of the Auton where the Timelord dressed like a 1950’s Civil Servant with a bowler hat and the desire not to have anything to do with the troubles of Earth. It seemed very much to tie this story down to that era in a way that I never felt before.

Caroline John was brilliant in this story. I’ve heard her read the Target Novels of The Cave Monsters & The Auton Invasion and they were very enjoyable to listen to. Not having listened to ‘The Blue Tooth’ for quite a long time the only thing I can remember is how I thought it was the best story of that short series. Lex Sharpnal was also very good as Marshall. The moment when he realised who and what he was made his role in the story that bit more enjoyable.

One thing that stood out for me was the sort of person that Liz Shaw was. We never really got an impression of what Liz Shaw was like as a human being as opposed to a scientist. The sadness that she felt for all the soldiers that lost their lives during the battles was heartfelt and the bit where she left to have a shower and try and wash away the smell of death and fear was quite a dark moment in this story. The revelation at the end that the soldier that is in fact from the same material as the mim that Liz was talking about in the story was quite a shock. That last part was perhaps my favourite part but then saying that would imply I didn’t like the rest of the story and that’s simply not true because the whole story was a well written and well directed adventure.

Being a Simon Guerrier story, this was a well told story. Being a Lisa Bowerman directed story it was a well paced and interesting release. Shadow of the Past is perhaps one of my favourite CC stories of this series. It’s the strongest offering of 2010 (so far).

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