Get Andy

Posted in Audio by - April 08, 2022
Get Andy

Released April 2022


The Doctor has learned that he can make a difference within this paradoxical universe, and he sets out to save the stranded and doomed Andy Davidson in Lisa McMullin’s ‘Get Andy.’ Unfortunately for the Doctor, Mr Bird also has his eyes set on Andy, and he will go to any extreme to prove his own point.

‘Crossed Lines’ began to more explicitly explore the ideas of multiple timelines splintering around 2020 London and the TARDIS, and ‘Get Andy’ begins to more directly explore the ramifications of just such a trauma to the web of time. The Doctor resolves to return to the spaceship upon which Andy is destined to perish as last seen in Stranded 3, but just as soon as he departs, none other than Andy shows up at the Baker Street door apparently safe and sound without the help of the Doctor. Instead, Andy reveals that the mysterious Mr Bird rescued him from the ship, and utilizing technology that allows Mr Bird to travel to any point within his much-extended lifespan, he has witnessed a flickering of realities that also shows a devastated world in which Torchwood did not intervene to prevent a greater war. This is an effective sequence that not only drives home just how unsteady the current temporal situation is with Mr Bird at its very core, but it also allows Mr Bird to showcase a sort of moral compass that has been mostly missing to this point with his younger self at the forefront.

The story falters somewhat, though, precisely because the previous story stated that the old rules are void and that timelines can be changed with little or no repercussions in this universe. Thus, while Tania is still recovering from the mental anguish of her changing past, the drama stemming from the Doctor’s failed attempt to rescue Andy never really carries any meaningful weight beyond the truly inspired performances that it brings out in Paul McGann, Nicola Walker, and Hattie Morahan. While it is somewhat jarring to hear Liv and Helen both at Baker Street and as the voices of the TARDIS interface as the Doctor slowly runs out of air after failing to leave the exploding spaceship in time, these three offer up some of the most memorable performances in this series so far as the Doctor comes to accept his fate while his companions attempt to discover what has happened to him and later what they can do about it. McGann, in particular, imbues an incredible and palpable sense of emotion to the moment as the Doctor looks to say one final goodbye with his final breaths, and though it certainly seems as though this long-standing TARDIS trio may be broken up at the end of this saga, this sequence is every bit as momentous as it needs to be given everything these three have been through together.

Unfortunately, it takes the ever-optimistic Andy acting somewhat out of character to truly emphasize how incredible the Doctor and his companions are. Through UNIT, he has learned of just how many companions the Doctor has had through the years and just how brilliant their actions have been, but when the prospect of sacrificing this version of himself so that another along with the Doctor may live arises, he quite flatly refuses and wonders if the Doctor has some hypnotic abilities that make his companions willing to put him before themselves or if the Doctor simply chooses companions whom he knows will make that choice in any fated situation. There are elements of a strong moral argument here, to be sure, but Andy is the wrong vessel through which to channel such combative thoughts even if his own life is at stake, and he comes off as much more close-minded and selfish in these brief moments than at nearly any time in the past. Sadly, his imagined sequences of where Mr Bird’s device might take him only detract from what otherwise is a wholly engaging argument, though Helen being the one to achieve their ultimate success after being so broken because of the Doctor’s apparent demise is certainly a resounding and triumphant conclusion.

While not wholly satisfying, it only makes sense that a paradoxical resolution should wrap up this most paradoxical tale, but hopefully this is not a trend that the remaining two stories in this saga follow. It seems at certain times that ‘Get Andy’ is not quite wholly committed to what it wants to be given the jarring tones and significant amount of padding throughout, but there is simply no denying the incredible amount of emotion and heart at this story’s core. The relationships among the Doctor, Liv, and Helen have rarely been so strongly displayed, and Mr Bird has finally become more of a well-rounded presence as the rules and aims of everyone continue to become more defined and refined with Stranded’s end in sight.

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