These Stolen Hours is a Short Trip drawn from a very specific point in Charley Pollard’s travels. While she narrates from a point during her time working for the Viyrans, she recalls an adventure with Doctor. Specifically, the Sixth Doctor, with whom she journeyed for a short while. believing her Doctor, the Eighth, had died.
The story begins with the pair’s arrival at a strikingly designed space-station, on the trail of a time disturbance. They soon find their mystery: the staff believe that persons unknown are doing their work for them while they sleep. However, the truth is far stranger and more of a temporal conundrum. It appears that the affected scientists are unable to form any new memories and the person responsible lives among them.
Writer Grace Knight, who was also responsible for May’s Torchwood: Iceberg, has penned a thought-provoking tale and demonstrates a great insight into Charley’s situation. While relatively straightforward for the Doctor to resolve, it is laden with emotional heft and addresses Charlie’s Doctorly predicament as much as it does the dilemma at hand. We hear her reflect on the burden she carried at that time; mourning the loss of the best friend while in the company of his younger, more bombastic incarnation.
On narration duties, India Fisher spins a compelling tale, as well as effortlessly returning to her role as the self-styled Edwardian adventuress and erstwhile companion of the Doctor. Directed by Lisa Bowerman, the tale has room to thoughtfully develop as Charley relates her thoughts and fears.
While we tap our feet for Ms Pollard’s long-promised third solo boxset, These Stolen Hours serves as a reminder of why Charley remains such a fan favourite.