The Time Museum is the first story from the Seventh Series which is a remarkable achievement and by my reckoning it’s the 61st Companion Chronicle (including DWM specials and The Three Companions) so all was in place to enjoy the fifth Ian Chesterton story in this range. It’s also the first story from James Goss who has a Doctor Who link in that he worked on the Official Doctor Who website. The story starts off in The Chesterton Experience which seems to be some sort of museum. I like how there is a mystery as to why Ian is there and how he got there. The mystery continues throughout the story with references to the very early days of Doctor Who. We had mentions to AN UNEARTHLY CHILD and THE KEYS OF MARINUS. After a while I was expecting a big threat to come into the story but it didn’t seem to come. Every time there was a scene change I was expecting it to move onto the big baddie but it didn’t come for a long time.
As the story progresses its clear that this is just a checklist of stories from Ian’s time in the TARDIS it goes through the stories in a different order from what they were transmitted. It’s also clear that there isn’t really a big threat despite there being in introduction of a being that feeds on memories which to me seemed somewhat interesting but they were never given a satisfactory crack of the whip. It just seemed (to me anyway) that they were the B-Plot and the A-Plot was the trekking through Ian’s past. I did like the slight nod towards the target novelisation of the Daleks and also the nod to Enlightenment where we hear the Eternals mentioned. Also the Sontarans and Rutans got mentioned and I thought that was clever scheduling as I had just finished listening to THE FIRST SONTARAN which saw the Rutans return against the Sontarans. After a long time of running we get to the nub of the story where we learn that Ian was a lure for the Doctor. Again I would like to have heard more about this but by this point I had sort of lost interest in the story as it was clear what sort of story we were getting.
William Russell is on his usual fantastic form but I found Philip Pope’s performance to be very good. His opening scene remains one of my favourites because it seems like Pendown is about to burst with excitement at meeting Ian. Throughout the story he continues to impress me and worked very well with Russell. The two seemed to get on very well with each other which is always a good sign that they like the story. However after listening to this story I must say that I was a little bit disappointed with this story. It’s not terrible story by any means as there were bits in it that I found quite interesting but it falls short of what I would expect from an Ian Chesterton story. I think that THE TRANSIT OF VENUS is the benchmark for an Ian story.