The Forbidden Time (2011)

The Forbidden Time is the latest Companion Chronicle and it features Anneke Wills, returning as Polly after her 2009 adventure ‘Resistance’. The story also sees Frazer Hines return in the secondary role as Jamie. Hines had previously done this in the 2010 adventure ‘The Emperor of Eternity’. The story is written by a newcomer to the Big Finish/Doctor Who world David Lock. The story starts off with a wonderfully eerie scene where we hear an alien voice say that the particular period of time is now forbidden (hence the title). The alien voice is very creepy and helps create the importance of what has been done. Sadly however the story starts to go downhill from here and it’s a shame because of the great quality of recent Companion Chronicles. The story is told via Polly being in a sort of Press Conference explaining a recent adventure she had. Part of it is told by Polly and the other half is told by Jamie who has recorded his part of the story of a Dictaphone. The setting of Earth is a good one because it’s slightly greyer than expected and there are Vist’s running around and the Doctor and Polly able to run through walls and it’s a good set up. The problem however with this story is that it’s dull. I was really struggling to get through to the end because there things that were happening that never really got me excited and as a result I was just wondering how long there was left before the end. The only good bit was when it was revealed the Vist that are trying to make some money out of it by forcing people to pay a toll to move out of that time-zone. That’s about as good as it got because nothing else is of any excitement.

It’s not a total washout. There was one slight sense of curiosity occurred during the bits where Polly is talking at some sort of press conference and it transpires that the audience at this press conference had been hearing voices and wanted an explanation. This explanation turns out to be that the Vist planted these messages as a threat. That was believable and wasn’t a cop-out. I also like Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines and think that whenever they are in a story that they are going to put in a strong performance and it’s only a shame that the story wasn’t there to compliment them. I did like the bit at the end where Polly was saying goodbye to the recording of Jamie and I thought that was a lovely way of finishing the story.

The Forbidden Time is my least favourite Companion Chronicle for quite sometime. It lacks anything drama to really care about and as a result it’s a waste for Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines. The point of bringing two actors (former companions) is to bring something to a story that the lead companion wouldn’t be able to by impersonating them. However I really don’t see what Frazer bought to the story and that’s not his fault it’s because of the writer. This is definitely one that I won’t be listening to again any time soon.


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