‘Doctor Who: Redacted – 3: Lost’ reviewed

Once again this show has given us a great instalment in this epic series, writes Andrew Creak.

Somehow we are three weeks into Doctor Who: Redacted already, a series that has been getting nothing but praise so far from me, but can the same be said this week? 

‘Lost’ had to carry the story on from the first major cliff hanger of the series, when Rani’s hidden base was attacked by “Transformer-like” robots, who then locked onto Cleo and Jordan’s location. 

Cleo and Jordan manage to escape the apparent alien threat. Cleo deciders she has goes to go back into the creepy hotel to try and help Rani, but when she turns around the hotel is no longer there.

Cleo tries to tell her Shawna and Cleo that they need to find The Doctor, after Rani told her to tattoo ‘The Doctor’ on herself. Her friends at the podcast think that Cleo is making up the events she has experienced. Especially after ‘The TARDIS’ and ‘The Doctor’ have no results on Google. The only aspect of Cleo’s story they do believe is that people are going missing. 

There are reports of human trafficking in Sheffield, London and Cardiff, and Sonya and Najia Khan have gone missing, following on from Ryan and Graham going missing in the first episode.

Jordon worries about his sister Cleo, and is concerned that she’s going to get hurt after seeing firsthand what she’s experiencing while investigating for ‘The Blue Box File’. Cleo is starting to question if her Dad vanished in a more alien way.

Shawna meets up with her Nan for a cuppa. Shawna fancies Abby, her Nan doesn’t think she’s ‘barking up the wrong tree’ and tries to set her up with someone she knows who is “fully lesbian”. It’s nice to see some scenes focusing on lesbians at the end of Lesbian Visibility Week. Just showing acceptance from her grandmother, and a normal conversation about relationships is the kind of visibility we need. 

Cleo has discovered that Rani’s mother and father have also gone missing. She is beginning to question if the connecting factor is the TARDIS.

Running late for work, when she arrives there is a sign outside the theatre ‘The Lost Queen Theatre’ when previously it was the Queen Victoria. It would seem time is being rewritten, and Queen Victoria has also vanished. Apparently there was a succession crisis, and the Queen, who was a recluse, went into hiding.

A friend of Ryan who’d tweeted about his disappearance also has no memory of Ryan, and all her tweets and the news articles about him have gone.

Cleo goes to St James’ Park to see if the Queen Victoria statue is still standing. The Victoria line has changed to the Southern Line, and the statue has also gone. Getting freaked out, Cleo realises that people aren’t just going missing but they are being forgotten, redacted if you will. Cleo worries that she will be forgotten too.

Cleo returns to work, to find her mum waiting for her. Jordan has gone missing, he didn’t turn up for dinner, and his phone is off. Cleo tries to find excuses, but her mum is determined that Jordan, has gone. 

Once again this show has given us a great instalment in this epic series, and I just wish I could listen to it all in one go! 

With this episode being released on International Workers Day, it only feels right to give praise to all the crew on the series, especially those reviews tend not to mention. This series wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the talented crew behind the scenes, ensuring that Juno Dawson’s brilliant series comes to reality. So I just want to take this moment in the review to say a massive congratulations and thanks to the crew of Redacted, Juno Dawson, Ella Watts, James Robinson, Paul Clark, Jacob Tombling, David Thomas, Arlie Adlington, David Devereux, Sarah Sharpe and Sarah Nicholls. 

Now that episode three has broadcast, we can assume that we are now moving out of the first act, and with Jordan going missing, making the events much more personal to Cleo, that would seem to be the case. Which means that the next few instalments will only get more exciting, and more interesting as we go along this journey with Cleo.

It was refreshing to not have any previously established Whoniverse characters in this week’s audio, as it allows us to fully focus on the show’s characters and their own lives, and shows that the inclusion of previous characters attached to adventures of the Doctor isn’t there for fan service, it’s there to further the narrative. 

After two weeks of glowing reviews from across the fandom, I can see the same happening for a third week. 

Lost may have been my favourite episode of the series so far, due simply to the brilliant family conversations that showed two very different but very real situations, Shawna’s grandmothers support and acceptance, and Cleo’s mother’s dead-naming. What this series has done well is balance the positive story telling, showing that queer characters don’t need to have dark and sad storylines to be good, but also interjecting elements of struggle, to make these characters fully fleshed out and believable. 

I can’t wait to see where the ‘Blue Box Files’ gang take us next week.

‘Doctor Who: Redacted’ is available to listen for free on BBC Sounds app and transcripts for those who are hard of hearing can be found on the ‘Doctor Who: Redacted’ webpage. Main cast: Cleo Proctor – Charlie Craggs, Abby McPhail – Lois Chimimba, Shawna Thompson – Holly Quin-Ankrah. Written by Juno Dawson. Produced by Ella Watts. Directed by Ella Watts and James Robinson. Executive Producer: James Robinson. A BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.

Andrew Creak is a freelancer in TV and Film production based in South Wales. As well as this they are a producer director in their own right through their production company Third Time Lucky Productions. Follow them on Twitter: @AndrewCreak


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