The Curse of the Fugue (Big Finish Audio Short Trips)

Audio A pleasingly small scale adventure in which the Doctor drops Lucie off in the year of my birth (1974) amid the blackouts to help investigate something strange happening in relation to an old woman with many secrets.  The answer is unlike something you'd find in Agent Carter, wartime secrets as a result of alien intervention and although there's nothing here which really stretches much further than could be created on television, everything happens in and around a single house, that simply adds to the sense of authenticity.  The writer Alice Cavender also nicely captures the TARDIS team, especially the magnesium spark chemistry between the two characters.  The headline here is the return of Sheridan Smith to Doctor Who and although she's a bit unsteady initially in the textual reading, just as India was when she began with the Short Trips, almost as soon as she's asked to voice Lucie again everything snaps into place and we're back.  There's one especially great moment when she's allowed to go full throttle into some piercing anger and we're reminded of just how good Sheridan's performance was back then.  It would be fascinating at some point if Big Finish put together a boxed set ala the Sixth Doctor's swansong with one story working its way through the Eighth Doctor's era, so we could he McGann and Smith interacting together one more time.  Placement:  Feels more like somewhere in the second season of With Lucie stories.

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