The Hoxteth Time Capsule – Doctor Who Short Trips audio review

Posted Filed under

For the last eight years, Doctor Who audio producers Big Finish have honoured their late colleague Paul Spragg by running a Memorial Short Trip Opportunity in his name.

The competition invites submissions from new writers, with the winner chosen to be developed into a short story which is released for free each December.

Doctor Who Short Trips: The Hoxteth Time Capsule cover art

2023’s winning entry is ‘The Hoxteth Time Capsule’ by Paul Davis

George White experienced exciting, sometimes dangerous escapades throughout his professional and personal life. Now he loves to arrange public talks to share memories and pictures from his adventures around the world. At an event in Hoxteth, he meets a colourful stranger for the very first time.

But if George can’t recall ever meeting this man before, how can it be that the Sixth Doctor clearly appears in so many of the photographs that George took more than a decade ago?

Like many of these short trips, we view the Doctor primarily through the eyes of the story’s protagonist. In this case, it’s George Albert White who, with his head full of stories and memories, delivers one of his famous little talks equipped with a projector full of slides.

Rather than have the Time Lord swoop in and save the day, he instead plays the role of instigator and gives George the space to produce his own solution. We liked how the story weaved in the presence, and absence, of this Doctor’s former companion Evelyn Smythe. It serves as a fine tribute to the late Maggie Stables.

Colin Baker

Naturally, this particular adventure enjoys an extra boost of authenticity thanks to its reader. Of course, Colin Baker knows his Doctor intimately, but he also sparkles in the role of the well-travelled George. Baker also delivers the detailed, descriptive prose with ease and has fun with the other character voices.

The Hoxteth Time Capsule is both touching and cleverly constructed. Writer Paul Davis has an engaging style and provides plenty of well-observed humour as well as an emotional punch making this an impressive debut tale.

Four Stars

As in previous years, Big Finish have also released the script and original submission so we can see the story’s development. There are also extras, with comments from the writer, the producer/script editor Peter Angelides and Colin Baker.

Other Trips

Doctor Who: Short Trips: The Hoxteth Time Capsule is available free on download. All you need to do is create a free account on the Big Finish website.

The seven previous winners remain available to download too. Check out our reviews of Forever FallenLandboundThe Last Day at WorkThe Best-Laid PlansFree Speech, The Lichyrwick Abomination and The World Tree.