Big Finish Review: Doctor Who - Short Trips: Regeneration Impossible
Jacob Dudman takes double duty this month as the latest Doctor Who short trips from Big Finish unties the Eleventh Doctor against the Twelfth.
Regeneration Impossible has been written by Alfie Shaw and directed by Nicholas Briggs. It is available to purchase at the Big Finish site here. Check out the synopsis...
The Doctor is in his TARDIS atop a cloud above Victorian London. He’s retired, no longer interfering in the affairs of others. There’s nothing that could make him help anyone else. Except, perhaps, the lure of another Time Lord...
The Doctor is locked in a mortuary in Victorian London, dying. He can’t escape and doesn’t know how to keep himself alive. Just when he thinks it can’t get any worse, he finds himself locked in with the one person he hates most in the entire universe.
I'll be joined by regular Big Finish co-reviewer and massive Doctor Who fan, my son Ben, to review this latest release...
Baz Greenland (aged 38)
Regeneration Impossible is a fun two-hander between two Doctors; acting firmly as an Eleventh Doctor tale (a twist in itself as multi-Doctor stories tend to have an incumbent Doctor encountering his past selves), Alfie Shaw's story play with a mix of hefty banter between two Doctors and a cunning mystery with a vampiric villain (also voiced by Jacob Dudman), threatening to feed off the Doctor's future regenerations.
The mystery itself is a nice detour to the main event - the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors meeting. Dudman's Eleventh Doctor is almost pitch-perfect; an uncanny impersonation of Matt Smith that really makes you believe you are listening to the Eleventh. Dudman's Twelfth Doctor isn't quite as effective - likely due to the fact that the actor is far younger than Capaldi - but his impersonation is serviceable enough, helped by some memorable Capaldi-isms in Shaw's script.
At half an hour, this is more akin to Time Crash than Day of the Doctor, but that's perfectly fine. The enemy has a strong enough motivation to serve as a personal threat, without overshadowing the interplay between the two Doctors. From a Victorian morgue to the Sahara, the story has plenty of scope; the Eleventh Doctor really serving as thee protagonist of the tale. But it's that first half that really shines; two Doctor's meeting is always an enjoyable event and Regeneration Impossible is very enjoyable. Big Finish's short trips are a delicious snack to the main course of the Doctor Who main range and this release is certainly a delicious treat.
Ben Greenland (aged 14)
This has been one of my most anticipated releases of the year. My two favourite Doctors meeting and also a slightly altered format to the short trip range with no narration whatsoever. The story itself is great, yet with a simple enough villain to carry this (criminally short) 30 minute tale.
Obviously, the main selling point for this story is having the Eleventh Doctor meet the Twelfth and it must be said Jacob Dudman does such a good Eleventh Doctor that I tend to forget Matt Smith wasn't in the studio. While his Capaldi does need a bit of work, I have grown more accustomed to it over time. The story really plays off the fact that the Eleventh is the final Doctor, or so he believes. Meeting a future incarnation of himself leads to some hilarious dialogue between the two. The fact that this is an Eleventh Doctor story featuring the Twelfth, plays to Dudman's strengths as the Twelfth is put out of action at the climax, leaving Eleven to save the day and ultimately his own future existence. Though we do get a great scene where the Twelfth has a one sided conversation with the Eleventh's TARDIS.
There's also a good amount of references from both eras sprinkled throughout and some great comedic dialogue between the two; particularly the Twelfth's comment on River and Missy ("One's locked in my basement, and I married the other"). Sadly this story is the shortest in the short trips range so far, but that is forgiven for the sheer amount of fun that it brings It also proves that Big Finish really are making the most of being able to use the Twelfth Doctor and his era. I had high hopes for my two favourite Doctors meeting and it certainly lived up to my expectations.