Starborn (2014)

Written by Jacqueline Rayner
Directed by Lisa Bowerman
Released in March 2014

With the number of Companion Chronicles starting to run low, I am hoping that there will be one last big successful release which signs off this range in style. I had hopes with this story as it was written by Jacqueline Rayner who wrote ‘The Transit of Venus’ which is one of my favourite companion chronicle stories. The synopsis of this story is another thing that made me look forward to it. Vicki is told that if she leaves in the TARDIS she will die. That’s an attention grabbing line if ever there was one.

Jacqueline King had a difficult job when she played Donna’ mom on TV and I think that this might have clouded my opinion of what she was going to be like in this story but I have to say that she was really really good. At first she comes across as a complete fraud but that was part of the charm of the character. Maureen O’Brien was also on fine form and has been consistently good in all of her performances, even when she appeared in the very first one ‘Frostfire’. I like the way that Vicki doesn’t quite believe Violet and is quite sceptical of her.

The idea that there are two Vicki’s is something that in any normal scenario would sound good on paper but would fall flat in reality, however for some reason this works very well in this story. Maureen O’Brien does a good job in making both voices sound different let similar (I suspect some post production may have taken place but most of the credit should go to O’Brien).

This isn’t as good as ‘The Transit of Venus’ but there are things that I liked about Starborn. I can’t say that I understood everything but I still think that it’s a good story and compared to the previous First Doctor release, it’s an enjoyable release with two very good performances from O’Brien and King. The music and sound design from Matthew Cochrane and Howard Carter along with Lisa Bowerman’s direction ensure that the final Vicki story in this range is one that doesn’t sit on its laurels and goes out with a  bang.



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