‘The Best-Laid Plans’ is the winner of 2019’s Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity. Released in memory of the much-missed Big Finish employee, it comes from a writer new to Big Finish.
The story is one about ideas, with its central character, Dracksil Forg, being overburdened with them. So full, in fact, that he maintains a shop to retail them and confidently offers a money-back guarantee.
Writer Ben Tedds builds his fantastical world in an unhurried fashion; Dracksil starts out as more misguided than outright villainous. The story then charts his moral decline, deftly holding off the Doctor as we explore Dracksil’s operation. Indeed, it is a good ten minutes before the Time Lord appears and, even then, he remains a background threat. Stuffed full of clever conceits, there is some great comic material here too and the story pleasingly captures the essence of the Twelfth Doctor.
With direction from Nicholas Briggs, Jacob Dudman gives another enjoyable performance, narrating the tale and again giving voice to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, as he did in the recent ‘Dead Media’. This augers well for first volume of The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles in February. The story also comes with a glorious cover image of Doctor too, courtesy of artist Mark Plastow.
‘The Best-Laid Plans’ is a well-structured and imaginative tale, following in the footsteps of the previous winners, ‘Forever Fallen’, ‘Landbound’ and ‘The Last Day at Work’. It is certainly worth a listen and we hope to be hearing more from writer Ben Tedds too.