The Lost

Posted in Audio by - July 18, 2021
The Lost

Released July 2021

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

When the Doctor’s latest scheme to get back to the proper side of the Time War fails at the start of Robert Valentine’s ‘The Lost,’ his team’s ship crashes on a strange world. While searching for replacement pars to avoid eternal entrapment in this place, the Doctor and Anya soon find a strange building in which truth and lies are brazenly exposed, threatening to change everything assumed to be fact.

From the start, it’s clear that ‘The Lost’ will employ a far different tone than is typical for Big Finish when tackling the modern Doctor Who era, and the deliberate pacing allows for an introspective and almost ethereal quality to pervade every scene and word. This is very much a story about the characters themselves, both regarding their internal conflicts and their relationships with each other, and the profound events of the preceding serial very much still weigh heavily on everyone’s minds and further compound previous experiences independently and shared. Indeed, few stories have attempted to tackle the introspective and higher-concept angles of Doctor Who quite as overtly as ‘The Lost,’ and though several callbacks to earlier serials may alienate some listeners to some extent, the overall effect is a hauntingly effective one that brutally reminds the Doctor and everyone else of the actions he takes and the unintended consequences that seem to follow in his wake.

The Doctor will forever be an enigmatic figure, and his own entanglements with Anya’s family in his past is a brutal reminder of that fact for Anya. Likewise, Anya’s turn as Ann Kelso when he first met her several regenerations earlier is a firm reminder of just how much truly remains unknown and unsaid between these two companions. Both characters are presented with a series of difficult truths and situations, and their spirits and beliefs are tested and put to their breaking points. Of course, the inherent morality and fortitude of both Anya and the Doctor are prominently displayed even as a very personal journey into their respective pasts brings about plenty of doubt, and the apparent sacrificial solution needed to ensure some semblance of survival highlights the unspoken best of each when faced with an impossible situation and truth. Although it should go without saying at this point, Jane Slavin as Anya denying and slowly coming to terms with her grief and trauma as well as David Tennant as the Doctor coping with his sense of responsibility for this situation and trying at all costs to find a way out are both utterly brilliant throughout, tapping into a more poignant and internalized drama than stories under a Dalek banner typically allow. The ultimate climax is somewhat underwhelming given the immensely emotional journey taken to get there, but that journey by itself makes ‘The Lost’ one of the most captivating audios the Tenth Doctor has featured in to this point.

Naturally, ‘The Lost’ is a very dialogue-laden story, and although the writing by itself doesn’t always capture the intended and needed weight of emotions, the performances expertly convey the conflict and turmoil that is so paramount upon this world. Still, the sound design emphasizes the unique qualities and atmosphere of this world and further serves to accentuate the thoughts and relationships that are brought so close to shattering. Without question, this is the most unique story of Dalek Universe to this point and finds a new lens through which to develop the continuing underlying conflict, but more importantly it ends this second set on an undoubted high while more than enticingly setting the scene for the concluding box set with familiar words delivered in a breathtakingly singular manner.

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