Following up some strong entries into the Short Trips range is the equally as strong, Her Own Bootstraps, a Ninth Doctor adventure, set before we saw him in Rose, but follows an image seen in that story, which sees the Ninth Doctor, drawn just before the eruption of Krakatoa.
New author to Big Finish, Amy Veeres makes her debut with a bang, literally and figuratively in this case, with a brilliant Ninth Doctor story. For me, the Ninth Doctor era has been the hardest to capture on audio, mainly because, Christopher Eccleston wasn’t involved. I didn’t like The Ninth Doctor Chronicles release, mainly because, and I’m going to be honest here, I wasn’t impressed with Nicholas Brigg’s impersonation of the actor.
What helps nail the Ninth Doctor’s era this time around is that Veeres really gets the character just right. He’s tired of war and has set out to remove a lot of devices from the universe that can cause him great harm, a perfectly Doctor-ish thing to do. This though leads him to get into conflict with Dr. Althea Bryce who makes an excellent foil. Bryce is something else that Veeres gets completely right in that she isn’t necessarily evil in the beginning, just creating a device that could help millions. Of course, she gets jaded over the years and uses it to hurt millions, but that leads to the bootstrap paradox that surrounds the story when a younger Bryce travels back through time to stop the Doctor from destroying her machine.
Our host Garry will be glad that Clive plays a part in the creation of this story as one of the photos he shows Rose is of the Doctor just before Krakatoa erupted and destroyed the surrounding area. This story is perhaps the epitome of Big Finish taking a single line of dialogue and making a story around it. But that’s the beauty of Who, everything is connected so its a nice addition.
Jacob Dudman is once again on narration duty but he does a brilliant job once again, he’s a very talented reader and makes all the characters sound completely different which isn’t something every narrator can do. Of course, Dudman is famous for his impersonations of different Doctors. Of course, the Ninth Doctor isn’t one that he’s done very often and while it isn’t completely like listening to Eccelston, he nails the character in the performance. For me, he is the most successful Ninth Doctor copycat since the original, so well done to him for getting the character right off the bat.
With a great script and brilliant performance, Her Own Bootstraps is an excellent way to spend half an hour. Veeres story is a simple one but that is the strength of it, and there is a lot of meaning to it, its a perfect addition to the slowly growing Ninth Doctor output and a brilliant lead into the ‘proper’ Ninth Doctor adventures to be released next year!