REVIEW: SECOND CHANCES – THE COMPANION CHRONICLES / AUTHOR: JOHN DORNEY / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: WENDY PADBURY, EMILY PITHON / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 30TH
Second Chances is the last of the regular series of The Companion Chronicles to be released by Big Finish. John Dorney brings Zoe Heriot's (Padbury's) arc to a close, concluding a set that included Echoes of Grey and The Memory Cheats.
The stories take on a core challenge with Zoe – she has perfect memory yet at the end of War Games the Time Lords took away her recollections of travelling with the Doctor in an act of needless cruelty. This contradiction has fuelled Zoe’s post-TARDIS life. She is mistrusted by the Company ,yet what if she did travel in time? What might they gain from her hidden knowledge?
In this story we have the return of Kym (Pithon) who has her own agenda – she helps Zoe recall the events of the worst day of her travels with the Doctor and then offers Zoe a second chance to put things right. Events are set in motion that will have consequences not only for the two of them but also for the all-powerful Company.
The story is aware that it is ending a trilogy and also echoes in some way the sorrow of the listener. Even Zoe’s own destiny is unclear as the story unfolds, neatly managing to both play tricks with time and stick to the show’s more rigid early stance whereby events play out as history dictates and interference is forbidden – or is it? Production is up to the usual very high standards and Lisa Bowerman directs with her customary skill. A downbeat conclusion to both Zoe’s story arc and the range as a whole; The Companion Chronicles will be greatly missed.