The Child (2012)

The Child is the final Companion Chronicle of 2012 and it’s a Leela story and its fair to say that we have had a lot of Louise Jameson in 2012 what with the Fourth Doctor adventures and Jago and Litefoot. Now I had some mixed feeling when I was about to listen to this because Leela in the Fourth Doctor adventures and Jago and Litefoot has been a joy to listen to but the Leela in the companion chronicles has been anything but. The last one which was The Time Vampire almost two and a half years ago wasn’t a particularly good story. This story (according to the interview at the end) is the first of three stories which makes sense when you listen.

When the story starts we get a woman talking in a child like voice having a ‘conversation’ with Leela. Leela is telling her a story which starts off quite serious but by the second episode it seems to have taken on a slightly comedic tone which wasn’t a problem just unexpected. I think that despite how strong the first part was I thought that the second was better. There is a mystery as to what is going on with Leela and Emily. Leela’s voice is not her usual voice as it has a ghostly quality to it but it still feels like the old Leela. The story starts off with the Doctor and Leela arriving in a place where there are loads of rooms exactly the same without anyone or anything in it. Nigel Fairs has done a great job in describing this world that the Doctor and Leela find themselves and the wonderful descriptions that are used help create a wonderful world and find a good balance between that story and the Emily story. The idea that Leela has to go on a journey with an old woman, a crow/raven like figure is something that has a nice comedic feel to it which works well in a Fourth Doctor adventure.

There’s not much I can really say about Louise Jameson because I will have written it several times this year and she is just as good as she always is. What I will say is throughout 2012 Louise Jameson has shown us different sides to Leela’s character and she manages to show another side in this story. She’s not the savage she was in Face of Evil but has developed during her time with the Doctor. Anna Hawkes is rather good as she does a convincing child voice and it was clear that the voice was suppose to be irritating because of the way that the character believes that the man of the family is the leader and all but admits that her mother is a servant to her father. They have some great scenes together.

It will be interesting to see where the two remaining stories  will go but on the basis of this story I am looking forward to the future stories. This was a massive improvement on The Time Vampire and I thought that The Child was the perfect way to end the year in the Companion Chronicles and Louise Jameson to end her best year for Big Finish. Nigel Fairs has written a magical story that suits this time of year and it was the best Leela Companion Chronicle that we have had and the future stories have a lot to live up to.


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