Under Odin’s Eye brings another sixth Doctor and Peri story to the Short Trips range. Performed by Nicola Bryant (absent from these shores for a while), it tells of dark happenings at the local ODIN megastore. Set on an alien world with a fascination for twenty-first century Earth’s Scandinavian aesthetic, is all well at the local megastore? Maybe not. Yes, it’s a riff on the world’s Swedish-founded (and currently largest) furniture retailer.
Writer Alice Cavender adds to her repertoire with a well-observed tale careful to balance obvious humour with original challenge. The writing takes us in one direction then lands in a different (but equally sinister) place than we imagined it might. The ODIN megastore is packed with the usual array of hard-working staff and suspicious managers (just what is Thor’s secret?) and plenty of Scandinavian names.
There’s also a little political commentary if you look for it, with direct reference made to the damage the megastore inflicts on the local economy. It’s not quite an anti-capitalist tirade, but a well-tempered nod in the direction of social responsibility for large organisations.
As the story unfolds the Doctor and Peri learn the secret behind ODIN’s success and (as we might hope and expect) save the day in one of the more amusing and apt climaxes for a long time.
It would be easy to compare this in some way to the thirteenth Doctor’s story Kerblam! and while it’s true there’s some overlap of setting, the stories are very different.
Alice gets both the Sixth Doctor and Peri to a tee and this is all helped by Nicola’s vocal talents. She (Nicola) gives each character a different voice and under Helen Goldwyn’s direction you could almost imagine the studio were full of actors, rather than Nicola alone.
Running at nearly forty-five minutes it’s very good value for money and the first of several Peri stories we are due this year. If they match this for entertainment, we are in for a treat.