Hot off the heels of Dead Media’s release, literally a couple of days afterwards, Big Finish went ahead and tackled The Second Oldest Question. We already know the answer to the first question, the oldest question in the universe but what about the second and what does it have to do with a chicken?
One glance at the cover for The Second Oldest Question will tell you everything you need to know but that doesn’t mean that you should skip this release as Carrie Thompson has crafted a very enjoyable little story here.
Arriving in Medieval England, the Doctor and Nyssa find themselves in a town that has just suffered a devastating fire and the villagers suspect a chicken of causing it to happen. The chicken has taken to the stand and when the Doctor goes to the chicken’s defence, he finds himself uncovering a rather strange conspiracy.
If all that sounds off, that is because it is an odd little story, but packed with plenty of heart and moments to enjoy and Thompson has given us the kind of crazy storyline that only Doctor Who can deliver! Thompson gives us the story through the eyes of Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton who also works as the narrator for this story, who watches on as the Doctor defends his new friend against a crime that he couldn’t have possibly committed.
Thompson has the characters down perfectly and it’s easy to fit this story early into the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa’s solo adventures between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity. Thompson gets the characters right and you can clearly see that these are the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, even if the story does feel like it could fit any TARDIS team into it.
For her part, Sarah Sutton does a brilliant job as always and brings the story to life with expertise and ease. She voices the other characters with enough difference to be able to tell them apart and her approach to the Fifth Doctor has the same calm approach that Davison handled the role with.
Overall, The Second Oldest Question is another successful release for the Short Trips audio range and another welcome addition to the Fifth Doctor’s era. The Fifth Doctor is my favourite Doctor so any audio from his era is going to be a success with me but this is a particularly enjoyable way to spend a half-hour. And isn’t that what we all want from a Short Trip?