Salva Mea (Short Trips: Snapshots)

Prose This is sweet. The theme of this Big Finish anthology is how the Doctor impacts the lives of those he meets, either through memory, letters or actually photography. In Joseph Lidster's entry, office drone Luke Tillyard's long wait for a train at Kings Cross to attend his Granddad's funeral is interrupted by Charley, who says that C'rizz has gone mad and is chasing her through the station and could he help her?  Initially reluctant he's eventually plunged into a life or death struggle with the Eutermesan in a massive battle across the concourse of the station which begs for the titular Faithless track to be played in the background.  Published and set in 2007 it's filled with incredible period details, especially about the Live Earth concert which happened a month after this anthology hit the shops (and so this is a story which was ever so briefly set in the future).  The pay off to the tale is beautifully emotional and I just wish we'd seen the crew in this light a bit more in those days.  Placement: Just before Absolution.  The calm before the storm.

Linking Material (Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins).

Books It's going to become increasingly difficult for official calendar publishers to produce tie-ins for Doctor Who. Up until recently, there were twelve incarnations which fit nicely into the Gregorian calendar, but with the additions of War and Thirteen, deciding how to fit them all in is going to be increasingly tricky. Producing an anthology of stories called Seven Deadly Sins provides a similar challenge if you're Big Finish and you have to service Eight incarnations. So it makes sense that while seven of them each have a story which evokes one of the sins, that the other should provide some kind of linking tissue.

Which is why we have Eighth in a surreal version of Channel 4's blind auction game show Four Rooms, but with a Tory front bench like group of morally ambiguous rich people instead of experts and experiential therapy rather than nicknacks.  The Doctor enters each of the rooms and does something to provoke the sin of each of the "clients" to bubble to the surface before they're then plunged into experiencing a moment from his past leading into one of the short stories which they're going to experience as one of the characters.

As a piece of writing, it's customary tour-de-force from Jac Raynor.  I especially enjoyed the moment when Eighth meets a fellow Time Lord and goes into some detail about his biography in order to provoke envy in the musty old being.  It's a rather more prosaic forerunner to the later scenes on television when the Doctor invokes his biography as a way of scaring the monsters.  Something which could have been rather anemic becomes a much richer brew, largely due to the scrupulous characterisation of this Doctor.  A couple of things might have made me wince, but they're not really anything he hasn't done before.

Placement:  Presumably he's travelling alone but it feels like some time since the regeneration.  So I'll bung it between the comics and audios.