In 2016, to honour the memory of a much missed colleague, Big Finish launched the first ‘Paul Spragg Short Trip Memorial Opportunity’. Offering writers new to the company the chance to submit a short story idea, with the prize of a commission and its subsequent release, it yielded the entertaining Seventh Doctor tale ‘Forever Fallen’ by Joshua Wanisko, which was performed by Nicholas Briggs and was made free to download.
For 2017 ‘Landbound’, a Third Doctor story, was the winner and it brings the Doctor to Whitby during his time with UNIT, and into the life of former sea captain-turned-publican Ronald Henderson. After the Doctor steps in to help Henderson out of a dangerous situation, the two find they have plenty in common; both forced to cease their travels unwillingly and both feeling trapped in their new lives.
Selim Ulug’s story provides an unhurried look at the Doctor during his exile and cleverly provides therapy in both directions as the Time Lord forms a connection with Henderson – initially just by offering him an ear, and later during a return visit when he ham-fistedly tries to help the man.
Big Finish supremo Nicholas Briggs once again performs the story, bringing a well-judged level of Pertwee-ness to the character of the Doctor and imbuing both the Time Lord and Henderson with plenty of emotion. The narration is backed by some subtle sound design too from Neil Gardner, which really helps to sell the coastal location.
On the strength of this thought provoking tale, we look forward to hearing more from Selim Ulug – and given that this release is again free to download, there is really no excuse not to give it a try!