We all have those recollections that manage to sneak upon us discreetly and leave a comforting sadness in their wake.
They might not be the biggest moments of our lives but, perhaps they happened during a key moment in our development. They don’t hurt us, these memories, we can easily put them aside, leaving them to gather dust until fate is ready to lead us back to the attic but there’s something worthwhile in wallowing in them – the journey is always worth taking.
And it’s the littlest thing that make us recoil back to another time; be it a certain smell on the breeze or the way a piece of fabric feels between our fingers; or in this case, the rubble of post-war London.
It must be hard to be a time traveller in those circumstances. All you have are your memories – the building blocks of how you define yourself as a person – to act as a compass in a now unfamiliar world. What if something does trigger a particularly wrenching memory? Do you try and amend it or do you go to the source and visit it with new eyes?
In a way, Lost and Found is really two stories, one, a comical, silly tale of unlikely alien contact and the other, a small, personal tale with a wonderful emotional pay off – it’s fairy tale storytelling at its finest and you could really only tell it with these characters.
Our narrator for this Short Trip, Anneke Wills, doesn’t quite do an outright impression of Patrick Troughton and, really, she doesn’t have to – by adding a few flourishes to her delivery she more than captures the impish essence of the Second Doctor.
It may be his enthusiasm for a coveted food – this is one of number of excellent period details fleshing out the background of this tale – that sends them on this very personal quest but it’s Ben’s compassion, which indulges Polly’s very personal whim – and again Wills does a great job of leaving a lasting impression using nothing more than a very broad cockney accent – that sets her rolling on a quest to find a lost childhood bear.
Perhaps the standout moment comes from a young Polly, who, after being told by her mother that Londoners are brave for having endured the worse of the bombing during the blitz, a young Polly, up from her home county of Hampshire, tries to spot any tell-tale signs of bravery upon the faces of the people she encounters – concluding that a lavishly dressed woman was the bravest of them all.
Another wonderful little nod, is the setting of this tale, Henrik’s department store, the future workplace of Rose Tyler.
Lost and Found is a small story with a lot of heart – no alien races are defeated, no planets saved and no one threatens the very fabric of space and time- but it still feels quintessentially a Doctor Who tale, albeit one leaning more towards the fantastical rather than the scientific.
Doctor Who: Short Trips – Lost and Found is available to buy now via download for £2.99 from the Big Finish site.