Doctor Who Short Trips: Damascus Written by Jonathan Barnes & Narrated by Tim Treloar – Download (Big Finish)
The Prime Minister seems almost irritated to be woken up by the news that a spaceship is hovering over the Norfolk coast. For once, UNIT aren’t keen to get involved: their budget has been cut and the ship is posing no threat. And to cap it all, their Scientific Advisor is more preoccupied with a strange piece of technology that has mysteriously appeared in his TARDIS than yet more alien visitors to good old Blighty. Time for the PM to give those UNIT chaps a visit and a kick up the collective backside, then.
Told from the point of view of the incumbent Prime Minister (no less), and despite its seemingly simple storyline, Damascus is a multi-layered tale, even with its very brief running time. There’s more to be found here than yet anther alien invasion, and by story’s end, everything feels a little bit sinister. It’s time, according to Downing Street, to remember that the Doctor is an alien in our midst. He’s unlicensed, he’s unaccountable and so, of course, he must be stopped…
If Jonathan Barnes writes for the Third Doctor perfectly (which he does: it’s spookily accurate), then narrator Tim Treloar brings him to life via an eerily precise impersonation of Jon Pertwee – all pompous sibilance and barely concealed irritation. This is a marvellous story, just gets better with each revisit, and fits into the Short Trips stable perfectly. In fact, I reckon these Short Trips may be my favourite Doctor Who ‘thing’ of the moment. More please! Bex Ferriday