Big Finish Doctor Who: Stranded 1 (Review)

Dec 29, 2020

Doctor Who: Stranded 1
Big Finish Productions

“The TARDIS is gone. Stranded in one time and place, the Doctor, Liv, and Helen seek refuge in Baker Street. But the house has changed: they now have neighbours – not all of them welcoming. And someone has a dire warning for the future. The Doctor and friends face their greatest challenge yet: living one day after another, in 2020 London.”

The Doctor has been stranded on Earth before without a working TARDIS – that’s basically the Third Doctor era in a nutshell, but that was a different era with a different Doctor… and the Doctor had a proper job during that time as well. Now, well… he basically has to rely on his current companions to make money in order for them to make it as regular, everyday “humans.” There are four chapters/stories within “Stranded 1,” : “Lost Property,” written by Matt Fitton, “Wild Animals.” written by John Dorney, “Must-See TV,” written by Lisa McMullin, and “Divine Intervention,” written by David K. Barnes.

Now, I’ve been sitting on this audio for a while, longer than I had intended – but time has become something quite odd here in 2020, so what I thought was perhaps a month… turned into nearly five. But what is time to a Time Lord? Nothing, but alas, I’m human. So, instead of letting in languish into eternity, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and I want to give you a solid review of the time the Eighth Doctor spent here with us in 2020. Might as well wrap up the year with something good to listen to, and boy is this a treat. When it comes to the Eighth Doctor audio adventures, I am very much behind, just barely making a dent in with his adventures with Charlotte Pollard, but here? I have no idea who these people are, but it didn’t matter. I got their characters right quick, and enjoyed what ensued in all four parts. And before we continue, big thanks to Big Finish Productions for allowing us here at Geeks WorldWide to have access to this audio (and Regeneration Impossible) for review.

Now, onto the story.

Well, for starters, just as the title would suggest, we are stranded, on Earth, in, lo-and-behold, everyone’s favorite year, 2020, and the TARDIS is just a strange little landmark in the neighborhood, no longer in use… not quite alive anymore. But, immediately, what got me excited, was Tom Baker! Speaking in the story almost as soon as it started! You know me, always love some Tom Baker (and Paul McGann, not leaving out Paul McGann! If I leave him out, I might get a friendly earful from him, the next time I see him!). But the other character I quite love is Tanya. The way she comes out to Liv is wonderful, and the way Liv takes it is equally beautiful. The thing is, everything in this story is very much human, but surrounded by some very unfortunate, and odd events. Mortgages, need for a job, then there’s strange beings in the basement, a foreboding Curator, then there’s a rather unfortunate robbery, matched with a mention of Torchwood… from Tanya, and this Doctor has yet to hear about Torchwood. It’s was interesting to see the Doctor inadvertently interact with a group that will play a large role in his future – and not even know it!

But damn, the Doctor sounded so depressed for the majority of this box set. Really hurt, actually. He’s alien. He can’t quite be human. He needs to be the Doctor, but can’t be the Doctor.

I, well, I would love to go into details. I always do, but I never want to give anything away.

Honestly, each story in this box-set was phenomenal. There’s a fair amount of odd occurrences, some slight sci-fi things happening, but it’s more of the domestic part of the Doctor’s journeys that we don’t quite get the chance to encounter. So many people, and characters, that, well, it feels… warm. Yeah, there’s things that don’t normally occur in everyday life, but it’s cozy, despite all the things gone wrong. The Doctor and his friends, stuck on Earth, having to deal with human-type things. Stranded 1 is very 2020, and yet, a very welcome distraction, despite all happening in the same year.

But, hey, this isn’t the end. We have Stranded 2 to look forward to!