Quick Audio Review – ‘Downward Spiral’ (Doctor Who)


Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

With the world still going through a pandemic – please keep safe – it was a pleasure to hear ‘Downward Spiral’ recently. It’s the latest Short Trip audio to feature Sarah Sutton who plays Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’. I still missing Sarah Sutton at conventions, so it was great to hear this audio Short Trip!

I won’t do a full-on review here just yet. I’ll save that for when we get to ‘The Nyssa Challenge’ mini-review season coming soon in December 2020.  I’ll review ‘Downward Spiral’ along with some other ‘Doctor Who’ stories including ‘Thin Time’/’Madquake’ as well as the new ‘Timeslip’ audios. 🙂

Listening to Sarah Sutton read a Short Trip audio is always a joy for me. Sarah told me she read this Short Trip audio recently when I saw her at the ‘Film & Comic Con Glasgow’ back in August 2019. It was lovely that Sarah shared this with me. I’m looking forward to sharing with her how much I enjoyed her reading of this Short Trip audio. I’m also currently looking forward to hearing her in the ‘Timeslip’ audios.

Sarah has a good flair for doing voices in these ‘Doctor Who’ Short Trip audios as well as doing narration in general. Whilst it was hard work for her, I loved her reading of ‘The Moon Stallion’ audiobook and still do to this day. You’re guaranteed to have a good time hearing Sarah in this story.

‘Downward Spiral’ is by Alan Flanagan, who also wrote ‘The Jabari Countdown’ for ‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures – Volume 1’ CD box set. The story has the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa meeting Siobhan Mayhew, not Matthews according to the synopsis, who’s been travelling on her ship for a very long time and is all alone. 😐

Siobhan has her ship’s AI called COMPANY which has the stored personalities of her nearest and dearest ones, including her father and her little daughter called Nicole. I loved the high pitch voice Sarah gave to Nicole as well as the Irish accents she gave to Siobhan and her father in this adventure.

But as Siobhan’s ship spirals towards something in the dark that’s hungry, COMPANY may not be as reassuring as she might like. I like how Nyssa attempts to get through to Siobhan by helping her to come out of her isolation and grief to stay alive. Nyssa shares her memories of her father to Siobhan.

I must admit, there are quite a number of complexities to this tale, especially with the COMPANY concept and the floating in space thing when the Doctor and Nyssa are in zero gravity. I will have to hear this story again, but I’m looking forward to that. I found this one relaxing and enjoyable to listen to.

Incidentally, the story is presented as a recording given to Siobhan by Nyssa aboard her spaceship, I believe. At the end, the recording gets replayed for a bit once it’s come to the end and it rewinds itself back. Nyssa even talks in a monologue whilst addressing Siobhan during the recording, which is neat.

By the time, you’ve read this review; I will have heard ‘Downward Spiral’ for a second time. It’s a very good Short Trip adventure, featuring a lovely reading/performance by Sarah Sutton. It’s good to listen to during this current time we’re living in. I’m sure it’ll be very relatable for people who are living in isolation.

I leave you now with some nice photos of Sarah Sutton and writer Alan Flanagan during the recording of ‘Downward Spiral’.


Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for an updated full-length review on ‘Downward Spiral’ soon in December 2020.

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Quick Audio Review – ‘Downward Spiral’ (Doctor Who)

  1. Timelord 007

    Brilliant mini review Tim,it’s about time Big Finish woke up smelled the coffee & adapted one of your short trips, you know this era inside out.

    The Bradders 4 Big Finish campaign starts here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my mini-review on ‘Downward Spiral’. I’m looking forward to checking this audio out again and review it along with the other Nyssa stories I’ve got in mind to review for December 2020.

      I would like to have one of my stories read for Big Finish audio someday. I can imagine Sarah Sutton, Wendy Padbury Sophie Aldred and Catherine Tate reading my Short Trips and enjoying them. 🙂

      Many thanks,

      Tim. 🙂



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