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Jamie’s Story of Helicon Prime
This is the second of Series 2 of the Companion Chronicles in ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish!
‘Helicon Prime’ is a gripping Big Finish audio of ‘Doctor Who’ from the Second Doctor era, starring Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon, companion of the Second Doctor. It’s a two-part story by Jake Elliot. I homed in on every word and liked the atmosphere of this audio tale brought to life by Frazer.
Jamie is one of my favourite companions from the Second Doctor era. I’ve met Frazer Hines in real life at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions. I like Frazer’s performance as Jamie in this story as he reads it with a Scottish accent throughout. I love his impersonation of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor in these audios.
This story takes place after Jamie’s adventures with the Doctor ended in ‘The War Games’. Jamie is now in the Highlands of Scotland as the story begins. He had his memories wiped by the Time Lords from his last story and it’s interesting how Jamie remembers this certain adventure with the Doctor.
Like Zoe in ‘Fear of the Daleks’, this story follows a similar vein where Jamie’s memories of travelling with the Doctor may not be completely blocked by the Time Lords as it seemed in ‘The War Games’. It’s a source of hope as Jamie’s memories of travelling with the Doctor begin to resurface in this tale.
‘Helicon Prime’ seems to take place when Jamie was travelling with the Doctor at the time of ‘The Two Doctors’. This is because a reference is made to the Doctor and Jamie leaving Victoria to study graphology somewhere. Victoria does not appear in this tale, despite the CD sleeve notes saying so.
For a while, I assumed the period of the Doctor and Jamie together from ‘The Two Doctors’ took place after ‘The War Games’ according to the BBC books theory of Season 6B. But recently, Big Finish indicates ‘The Two Doctors’ occurs during Season 5 from ‘The Black Hole’ (but that’s another story).
Despite these inconsistences and changes of continuity placement for these stories, ‘Helicon Prime’ is a story where the Doctor and Jamie did travel together for a while during a time when they were without Victoria. Jake Elliot captures the tone of the Doctor and Jamie’s relationship well in this tale.
Helicon Prime is a holiday resort of a planet that the Doctor and Jamie visit. On Helicon Prime, a series of strange murders occur. The Doctor and Jamie investigate what’s going on with the murders, as they have to deal with an evil alien ambassador and meet the celebrity singer called Mindy Voir.
Jake Elliot does well capturing the atmosphere of the Second Doctor era in this audio story where the Doctor and Jamie visit an alien planet and deal with an evil menace. As I said, the Doctor and Jamie’s relationship is the highlight of this story. I love the comedy and camaraderie between them.
Frazer Hines has a fine reading voice for audio. I found it easy to engage with Frazer has Jamie when he read this audio adventure. Frazer clearly loved his time in ‘Doctor Who’ as it was a happy period for him. It’s no surprise he immersed himself back into the world of ‘Doctor Who’ to recreate Jamie.
I’m impressed with how Frazer keeps up with maintain Jamie’s Scottish accent throughout as he reads this tale from his perspective. I like how Jamie processes his thoughts and feelings through this adventure, especially when he’s being brave, baffled by everything and concerned for the Doctor.
Frazer’s impersonation of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor is spot-on. I’ve listened to other audio adventures including ‘Prison In Space’ before this one. Frazer easily sounds like Patrick when doing the voice for the Doctor and slips easily in dialogue scenes between Jamie and the Doctor in this tale.
I like the moments when Frazer does Patrick Troughton’s cough as the Doctor in this audio and when the Second Doctor is playing his recorder in certain scenes throughout the story. I enjoyed it when the Doctor sometimes tells Jamie off or when he tries to explain to him what’s going on in the story.
Suzanne Procter guest stars as Mindy Voir, the celebrity singer who the Doctor and Jamie meet on Helicon Prime. I found Suzanne’s performance as Mindy easy to listen to. The Doctor is delighted to meet Mindy as he tries to get an autograph from her. When she signs, she does it by singing. Honestly!
Mindy at first seems to be a pleasant character and is helping the Doctor and Jamie when solving the murders on Helicon Prime. I liked the scenes where Jamie and Mindy are hiding from the alien ambassador and his mission. There’s a twist at the end with Mindy’s character which surprised me!
I could feel the atmosphere of the restaurant scenes when the Doctor and Jamie are there. I like how Jamie recalls his experiences of what the holiday resort of Helicon Prime is like and how he gets anxious when he and the Doctor seem to do nothing but to wait whilst the murders are taking place.
I found it tense when the Doctor and Jamie deal with the alien ambassador who seems to be responsible for the murders. The tension is built up throughout this story and I liked it when the Doctor and Jamie confront the alien ambassador at the end. But all isn’t as it seems with the enemy.
I liked the last scenes with Jamie as he finishes his story on the Highland moors and meets Mindy Voir again who comes to him. Jamie soon wakes up in a barn later on. He still can’t fathom why he remembers his adventure with the Doctor on Helicon Prime. There’s hope his memories will return.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of this disc, there’s a trailer for ‘Old Soldiers’ with Nicholas Courtney. There’s also an enjoyable interview with Frazer Hines about the making of ‘Helicon Prime’. There’s also a brief and enjoyable suite of incidental music from this story. It is very easy to listen to.
‘Helicon Prime’ is a great Companion Chronicle tale featuring Frazer Hines as Jamie from the Second Doctor era. I enjoyed Frazer’s reading as Jamie in this story and love his impersonation of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor through. Let’s hope all is not lost with Jamie losing his memories of the Doctor.
‘Helicon Prime’ rating – 8/10
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