Doctor Who’s favourite mum Jackie Tyler returns in a second slice of adventure from the parallel universe which has now become the home of her reunited family – and the stomping ground of the MetaCrisis Doctor.
UNIT’s dinner lady extraordinaire is still recovering from The Siege Of Big Ben and smarting from the actions of the Doctor at the resolution of that tale. To prompt a reconciliation between the pair, they are tricked into a zeppelin bound for Hull, in this universe a glamorous spa destination, complete with glass pyramids.
Despite the luxury of the flight, it is an eventful one and we join Jackie (Camille Coduri) as she calls the long-suffering Beryl to tell the tale of her latest exploit.
Last time, writer Joe Lidster filled out this world and showed us Jackie’s place in it, for this second instalment he doubles down on her fractured relationship with the Meta-Crisis Doctor; so near and so far from the Time Lord she knows, and a Doctor with problems of his own.
With Lidster’s finely tuned comic antenna, another spirited performance from Camille Coduri and assiduous direction from Lisa Bowerman, the story makes smart use of the single voice format – not only through Jackie’s stream of consciousness narration, but with gags which rely on us filling in the gaps as we only hear her side of the conversation.
In amongst the action, we loved a glorious Jackie riff on whether “parallel” or “alternate” should be the appropriate terminology for the universe and it was good to hear that she teases Rose for being a dog too.
The story also provides some well-deserved validation for the achievements of the Jackie Tylers of the universe, the vital support staff who make it possible for our heroes to achieve their heroics.
Surely, we deserve to hear more from “Pete’s World” – though doubtless most world agree it should be re-dubbed “Jackie’s World” from now on. If not in full cast dramas, then through more of these terrific Short Trips… for that matter, a Pete Tyler story would be fun too!