Lost Property

Posted in Audio by - June 18, 2020
Lost Property

Released June 2020

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

After three monumental sixteen-story epics that spanned all of time and space in Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition, and Ravenous, the trajectory of the Eighth Doctor’s adventures for Big Finish looks to totally change pacing and tone as the Doctor, Liv, and Helen find themselves stuck in modern London to begin Stranded. Seeking refuge amidst a dire warning for the future, the Doctor finds that his Baker Street house has changed during his prolonged absence, and the travails of day-to-day life and neighbours present just some of his greatest challenges yet.

In many ways, Matt Fitton’s opener ‘Lost Property’ is Doctor Who stripped to its absolute minimum. With the TARDIS seemingly beyond repair after Ravenous and the Doctor without a sonic screwdriver or any advanced technology to work with or even an overt alien threat to confront and vanquish, this is a series that looks to bring its core characters very much to the forefront. There is no UNIT to call upon here, and so the Doctor finds himself calling in some old favours to get a grasp on his latest situation. Of course, by doing so he proves just how totally alien he is, and his bolthole being turned into accommodation for others by none other than Thomas Brewster who briefly traveled with his Fifth and Sixth incarnations reveals how little he understands about the necessities and responsibilities of daily life with this building in his name. Fortunately, Liv and Helen are rather more experienced and self-aware in this capacity, and the two discussing their less-than-favourable financial situation and how to alleviate it while also learning about their new neighbours whom the Doctor so casually looks beyond grants ‘Lost Property’ an immediate sense of grounded realism and intimacy that is rarely so prevalent in the franchise.

The many denizens of Baker Street receive introductions here, and though the expanded cast allows little thorough exploration, the groundwork in place with certain characteristics already so evident is sure to pay dividends as this series continues. Of course, ‘Lost Property’ may be most notable for featuring the return of the enigmatic Curator of the Under Gallery from the fiftieth anniversary special ‘The Day of the Doctor.’ With Tom Baker ably reprising his role and through Fitton’s writing expertly recapturing the air of all-knowing mystique that portends an imminent and immense trial for the Doctor, the Curator is every bit the dynamic presence he deserves given his presumed relation to who and what the Doctor will at some point become. Indeed, the past and future of the Doctor and his many incarnations routinely comes into question here, and coming to learn his greatest fear as tensions and paranoia within the flats grows provides ample fodder for the future stories of Stranded to revisit and further develop.

Without knowing how the remaining fifteen stories of Stranded will run their course, ‘Lost Property’ is an immensely intriguing start to this saga that looks to be something wholly distinct from what has come before it. In many ways, this is Doctor Who without the Doctor Who, and yet at the same time it embraces everything that Doctor Who can offer to its fullest. Often low-key but obviously fit to burst with secrets of something much bigger to come just like with the Curator himself, ‘Lost Property’ embraces its familiar setting within such unique circumstances and becomes something wholly distinct and memorable as Paul McGann, Nicola Walker, and Hattie Morahan enthusiastically dive into new territory for their well-known characters alongside so many new faces.

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