A Town Called Fortune (2010)

The latest Companion Chronicle sees Evelyn Smythe return to Doctor Who. The story is one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Anything with Maggie Stables is always something special. I always think that a companion chronicle that feature Doctors 5-8 are quite strange ones because the original point of a Companion Chronicle is to have stories for the first four Doctors because they are either dead or at the time refuse to do them. Never the less, we have a story here and I went ahead and listen to it.

The story is set in a town called Fortune (as the title suggests) where the Doctor is wanted for a murder. They meet a young woman called Rachel Ann who is trying to find out who murdered her father. Soon the Doctor finds out that he is wanted for a crime. The Doctor and Evelyn leave the train and stumble across a mine where the people working are being badly treated and the mine is owned by the mayor. We learn that the mayor has a hold on the Sheriff and it turns out that its because he killed William Donovan by accident. This means that he wont act on the fact that the Mayor has wormed his way into running the town. The Doctor and Evelyn manage to get the mayor deposed and then there is a lovely moment at the end when Sam (the sheriff) and Evelyn talk about the truth and who murdered Rachel Ann’s father. There is a nice moment when you think that the Sheriff would get a hero’s exit but when his truth is revealed he says that at least he was a hero for getting rid of the mayor and that was enough for him. I found that quite a nice moment because it was difficult to see how it would end.

Maggie Stables is just fantastic in this. She doesn’t do a Colin Baker impression but does a good job in distinguishing the Doctor’s character from hers. The way that she delivers the Doctor’s lines was also spot and you could believe that Colin would say those lines like that. Richard Cordery is very good as well as Sam. The character was always treated as a nice and trusted person but his revelation was surprising to me but I still found myself finding sympathy for the character and that has something to do with the way that Cordery performed. It probably would have been nice for someone else to be playing Rachel Ann because her character really drives the story and I think that she bonds well with Evelyn. I don’t know whether it would have made any difference but I do think that they missed a trick there.

There was one moment where I laughed when Sam went “Oh no, Rachel Ann’s just shot the Doctor”. It wasn’t so much the line but the way it was delivered. I instantly was reminded of the “Oh no, not the mind probe” from the Five Doctors. A Town called Fortune is a nice story. It doesn’t have quite the punch that I was expecting as it took way too long to really get going. Paul Sutton has written a story that wasn’t bad but was just ok. That is perhaps the worst thing I could say about this story.

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