❉ If you love the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who, you will love this story.
“Jacob Dudman is a fantastic actor, his range is so great you’ll soon forget that one person is playing every role… The Eleventh Doctor’s self-imposed exile we see in The Snowmen never really made a lot of sense at the time, but Regeneration Impossible justifies it very well indeed.”
Regeneration Impossible is a love letter to Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner of Doctor Who. If you love the Moffat era, you will love this story. However, as someone who is, to say the least, not the biggest fan of this era of the show, Regeneration Impossible had quite a big hurdle to overcome.
Unlike most of Big Finish’s Short Trips range, this story is essentially a full-cast audio adventure, with only one actor. Jacob Dudman is a fantastic actor, his range is so great you’ll soon forget that one person is playing every role. His impression of Matt Smith’s Doctor is spot on, it’s honestly kind of spooky how accurate it is. Unfortunately, his impression of Peter Capaldi isn’t as good. It’s perfectly fine, it works, but compared to his impression of Smith it falls a bit flat. But again, for a Short Trip to have this much vocal variety, it’s incredibly impressive. The sound design and music adds to this “full cast” feeling, there’s a lot of variety in the sounds here for a Short Trip, and it’s all very much appreciated.
The story and writing itself is where Regeneration Impossible falls a bit flat for me personally. I’ve never been a big fan of how either of the Doctors in the story are written, and the Doctors are very much written on-character throughout. Which is definitely a positive, especially if you’re a fan of these particular Doctors. Though one thing l will say is that even as someone who isn’t a fan of these characters, l very much appreciated the added depth we never got onscreen: The Eleventh Doctor’s self-imposed exile we see in The Snowmen never really made a lot of sense at the time, but Regeneration Impossible justifies it very well indeed, by having the looming concept of this being the Doctor’s final life hanging over him. And when he meets the future Doctor, he initially is hopeful that he’s another Time Lord, since he assumes he has no future lives, and doesn’t recognise the face. For the Twelfth Doctor this story takes place just before The Pilot, and comparisons are drawn between the two Doctors’ self-imposed exiles, which for fans of this era will be sure to bring a smile.
Whilst this is very much a story that isn’t for me, on the whole it is really good, though admittedly l was surprised at just how short this particular Short Trip was – usually they hover around the 40 minute mark this one was half an hour long. Maybe it was the full-cast feeling of it, or that it juggled two central characters throughout, but it really flew by. Honestly, it’s worth approaching this is more of an expanded Multi-Doctor Minisode than a Short Trip. Most of the story is the two Doctors arguing back and forth in a room together, which for something like this, is all you need really.
If you’re a fan of these eras, you should definitely pick up Regeneration Impossible. This is very much a Short Trip aimed at fans of these eras.
❉ ‘Doctor Who – Short Trips: Regeneration Impossible’ is now available to download exclusively from the Big Finish website for just £2.99.
❉ Stephen Brennan has been writing for fanzines and charity anthologies for some time. A writer by day, a game developer by night, they can be a bit of a grump, but with a mischievous twinkle in their eye that lets you know they aren’t all bad.