‘THE QUEEN OF TIME’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Playing Games – A Female Foe for the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
I’ve enjoyed these ‘Lost Stories’ with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe!
With Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury reprising the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe in Big Finish, the ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventures bring back the nostalgia of the Second Doctor era. I enjoyed listening to ‘Prison in Space’ and ‘The Rosemariners’, so I knew I would enjoy more stories with this TARDIS trio.
For the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, Big Finish released their fourth series of Lost Stories on audio. In this series, we have not one but two exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ stories with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. ‘The Queen of Time’ is the first of the two, with ‘Lords of the Red Planet’ the second.
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Queen of Time’ signed by the lovely Wendy Padbury at the ‘Timey-Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014. Wendy is a lovely person to meet at conventions. She remembered me when I saw her in Brighton. I enjoyed sharing how much I enjoyed her as Zoe.
‘The Queen of Time’ is a four-part story on a 2-disc set. It was originally pitched by Brian Hayles, who wrote ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ and created the Ice Warriors in ‘The Ice Warriors’ and ‘The Seeds of Death’. It was one of many pitches proposed to the ‘Doctor Who’ production office during the 1960s.
For reasons unknown, the story never got past the scene breakdown and the scripting stage when it was being developed as a story in the late 1960s. This is a shame, since after listening to this story, I found it really good. That’s because it is well-adapted by Catherine Harvey for the Big Finish audios.
Catherine Harvey was chosen to adapt Brian Hayles’ ‘The Queen of Time’ story following her previous work for ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish. I’m impressed with Catherine’s writing, as she seems an inspirational choice to adapt Brain Hayles’ story and also write for the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.
‘The Queen of Time’ is about the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe in the TARDIS before they arrive on a strange world. It’s a place outside the universe where a deadly, beautiful woman waits. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves inside a world of clocks and where time is a key aspect to this world.
They meet Queen Hecuba who invites the Doctor and his friends for dinner and cocktails. But Hecuba has set a trap. The Doctor and his companions get split up and they have to play her deadly games. While the Doctor endures Hecuba’s attention, Jamie and Zoe are soon on the verge of death.
The world of ‘The Queen of Time’ is eerie and unusual which Catherine Harvey depicts well. There’s a 1930s sense about this tale with familiar jazz music; antique grandfather clocks ticking and cuckoo clocks cuckooing. There’s also an element of ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ with games and puzzle-solving.
I really enjoyed listening to Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury’s third-person narration of the story. They narrated previous stories with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe including ‘Prison in Space’ and ‘The Rosemariners’. I like when they take turns to narrate the story to keep the audience’s attention.
Frazer Hines plays both the Doctor and Jamie in this adventure. I’ve said it before, but Frazer does a fantastic interpretation of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, bringing the mannerisms and traits to life on audio. It feels like Patrick’s in the tale, even though Frazer’s voicing him which was great to listen to.
The Doctor is anxious about where he and his friends are, who Hecuba is and shows concern for Jamie and Zoe when they’re in trouble. He doesn’t like Queen Hecuba and the way she mistreats him and his friends. The Doctor’s determined to outwit Hecuba. He also doesn’t like the dinner she gives.
Jamie is brave and heroic as ever. Frazer brings out the spirit of the young boy despite being older from working on the series. Jamie is with Zoe a lot in this story, as they get to go through games and puzzles involving clocks and time. Jamie likes Hecuba at first, as he describes her as a ‘bonnie lassie’.
Later on, Jamie doesn’t like what’s going on and how Hecuba taunts them in their game endeavours. Jamie shows concern for Zoe when she gets older and younger. Jamie is resourceful when trying to save Zoe’s life and how she would think logically. He makes a joke about it, calling Zoe a ‘wee bairn’.
I really like Wendy Padbury as Zoe in this adventure. Wendy manages to bring back the youth in Zoe with a higher-pitch voice and making her sound like she was in the TV series back in the 1960s. Wendy also gets to play an older Zoe and a baby Zoe, when time accelerates and decelerates for her.
I was worried for Zoe when she was aging at the end of ‘Episode Three’. Zoe gets to use her logic in solving a problem, especially when trying to free the Doctor from one of the clocks and noticing one of them has stopped working. I liked the friendly banter shared between Zoe and Jamie in this story.
The villainess is Caroline Faber as Hecuba. Caroline delivers an extremely invigorating and terrifying performance as Hecuba, making her sound seductive, beautiful and deadly. Hecuba is described as beautiful with blood-red lips and fingernails and she is deadly when conducting her malicious games.
She’s a worthy adversary to the Doctor, as they both match in the knowledge of time. She’s pretty sadistic and ruthless as she tries to seduce the Doctor with her feminine and almost vicious ways. She takes delight in wanting to see Jamie and Zoe die in her games and win her way with the Doctor.
I couldn’t help wonder if this was the Celestial Toymaker and whether a sex-change had taken place, like with Missy in ‘Dark Water’/’Death In Heaven’. But the true identity of Hebuca was far more interesting in connection to the Celestial Toymaker. It does make sense when the Doctor explains it.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews on ‘The Queen of Time’. They include Frazer Hines; Wendy Padbury; director Lisa Bowerman and writer Catherine Harvey, conducted by producer David Richardson.
I like the stories shared between Frazer and Wendy about getting costumes and props from the TV series and Frazer’s undeniable sense of humour which makes me laugh every time he plays gags and tells jokes. It demonstrates how great Frazer and Wendy are with recreating the Second Doctor era.
‘The Queen of Time’ has been a great audio experience with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. I enjoyed listening to this adventure. It’s well adapted by Catherine Havery from Brian Hayles’ story and it is well performed by Frazer, Wendy and Caroline. I found it a very easy adventure to listen to!
‘The Queen of Time’ rating – 9/10
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