Doctor Who: Forever Fallen [Big Finish Short Trips]

In addition to all their full cast audio dramas and partially narrated audio dramas, Big Finish also produce audio books–pieces of prose fiction which are available to listen to being read by various actors. Amongst these are many short pieces of Doctor Who fiction, marketed as “Short Trips”. Most of these are available on the Big Finish website for about $3.00 AUD, but there are a few available as a free download, including this one…

(Daily Doctor Who #170)

Forever Fallen

Written by Joshua Wanisko
Read by Nicholas Briggs
38 Minutes

Spoilers Ahead!

Forever Fallen takes place over multiple years, and shows the decade-long relationship between the Seventh Doctor and unquestionable brilliant scientist named Sean Calvin. When the Doctor initially meets him, he is a well-intentioned extremist who is poised to save humanity from its problems by removing all free will from his planet. The Doctor talks him down from this move and then insists they meet once a year over a cup of tea to talk about how he’s getting on. Calvin submits to these meetings but does not appreciate them, knowing full well that he is being monitored to make sure he doesn’t re-visit to his more aggressive plans.

And so the story proceeds to give us snippets of these conversations, and the listener gets to join the Doctor and Ace as they trace Calvin’s progress. They watch him go from seething resentment to a sort to a sort of grudging acceptance, to dizzying romantic excitement, to crushing bitterness, and so on.

Listening to it, I had all sorts of ideas of where it was going to take us. I imagined a story in which the brilliant Dr. Calvin laid year-long schemes into fooling the Doctor into dropping his guard, or in which the darker parts of his human nature eventually won out and all the Doctor’s efforts turned out to be for nothing. But instead the tale offered a more hopeful outcome, in which Calvin experienced legitimate personal growth as a result of the Doctor’s involvement. it was a satisfying direction to go in, and certainly more upbeat.

The story even offers some thoughts about the whole “fixed point in time” concept that the modern Doctor Who has developed, which was nice to hear. On the whole, it’s a well written tale that is effectively delivered by Nicholas Briggs and the production team.

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