The Eternal Summer (#128)

Big Finish Main Range

This is an odd story because I both loved it and felt completely indifferent to it. I just didn’t get into it, which is really strange after the amazing cliffhanger from Castle of Fear! They are just going to yank Peter Davison’s Doctor around Stockbridge, without a care for the TARDIS’s location, through various means and cliffhangers galore! I didn’t like this cliffhanger nearly as much, either.

The best character introduced here from the comic books, apparently, is Maxwell Edison. He’s fun but not extraordinary. Just a serious UFO geek and it was fun to watch him wander the landscape and do his part to save the planet. But I never felt a sense of impending doom or dread, though the Doctor and Nyssa are marching around Stockbridge as it’s changing quickly around them. Why it’s doing this when the people are having their pasts drained from them by the Veridios creatures? They’re seeing it live, living through it, yet also having it drained from them? Makes not much sense to me. And what’s the point of Veridios’s existence, anyway? Ancient, timeless, cold. Blah, blah, blah. So? Hmmm. I just don’t get it, basically.

It almost seems like half a story, too, as we get to relive the character’s lives over and over again so they get to re-loop tape. It’s an interesting concept that just doesn’t make the story interesting. I liked the story initially, as the Doctor and Nyssa are mysteriously alive after the explosion, but it quickly lost my interest. I thought I’d be intrigued, trying to solve the mystery along with the Doctor and Nyssa but then Nyssa escapes and we don’t hear her story until much later, which was actually a bit distracting as well. But with her side comes explanations they probably didn’t want to reveal too soon.

It just all fell flat for me, much like Paper Cuts. I heard a review of that audio story on the WhoCast and I agreed with them—it would’ve been good as a standalone story but as part of a trilogy, it just didn’t work. Same with The Eternal Summer. Good overall but it just didn’t work for me as part of this trilogy.

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton

Writer: Jonathan Morris

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: November 2009

Laura Vilensky 2019