The Forbidden Time (#5.09)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

Though the credits indicate Frazer Hines is in this story, he is more peripherally involved – only in the story for maybe 10 minutes. Polly, Anneke Wills, takes the brunt of the tale telling to an audience of people who are a bit panicky about a mental message everyone heard on Earth. The frame of this story is a press briefing where Polly is telling the story of when the 2nd Doctor met the Vist in the half-reality of Earth, where they were laying claim to time. And everyone who passed by their section of time would have to pay a toll of life essence. They didn’t understand or care that there were creatures in the universe for whom time is a straight line (humans, for example) or used machines to travel through it (Time Lords). It didn’t matter to them – they’d lay claim to the time they saw as they naturally moved through it like we move through the air in our 3D world.

So Polly tells the story and it all comes to a climax and… the let down? I have to admit that I felt a bit cheated in the end. It was a great story, don’t let me ignore that. A fantastic concept and would’ve been terribly difficult to do on TV. But I really enjoyed this until the wrap-up. Really? Ugh. A 5 jelloid tale turned into a 4 jelloid tale by making her story seem almost pointless. It could’ve been wrapped up in 10 minutes by her, almost literally, instead of going through the whole reminiscence. Frustrating but what can you do? Lots of cool ideas in here – the Vist moving through time, the crumbling artifices that 3D structures appear to be in their world, a “wall” in the vortex, the press listening to Polly’s story. Fantastic stuff!

Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines

Writer: David Lock

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: March 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019