We might already be halfway through the arc, but the Eleventh Doctor (played here by Jacob Dudman) and Valarie Lockwood (Safiyya Ingar) will be back in November for a surprise bonus full-cast Chronicles episode, Broken Hearts.
And despite there being a statue of Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, on the lavishing cover artwork, he doesn’t make a guest appearance in the story.
Here’s the synopsis:
He took her apart, and she told him she was fine. She lied.
He saved their world, and told them they’d be safe. He was wrong.
Writer Lisa McMullin explains:
“I think this is one of the best series Big Finish has produced – it’s like discovering a superb missing television series of the Eleventh Doctor. Producer Alfie Shaw has created and developed something really special in the relationship between the Eleventh Doctor and Valarie Lockwood. She is one of my all-time favourite companions in ANY media. Jacob and Safiyya have such great chemistry.
“I listened to Geronimo! and All of Time and Space and was INSANELY envious of everyone who worked on them – the writing, the performances and the production are exquisite. Brilliant, BRILLIANT stories. I was gutted that Alfie had allocated writers for the entire series and DEVASTATED to discover Jacob wasn’t doing any more. BUT – I was floored by how sad I was at the end of James Goss’s superb story, Curiosity Shop. Sad and FURIOUS at the Doctor. No way Valarie would let him do what he did to her and get away with it! I needed closure! Valarie needed closure.
“So Alfie, Safiyya and Jacob kindly agreed to let me give them closure. It doesn’t interfere with the overall series’ arc, but it’s there if – like me – you were left furious at the Doctor at the end of All of Time and Space… and need a bit of help getting over it…”
I couldn’t agree more with Lisa. As a fan of her contributions for Big Finish, such as the fantastic Ninth Doctor audio Girl, Deconstructed (from Respond to All Calls) and Out of Time 3: Wink, I’m very pleased that she’s been given the opportunity to write for the Eleventh Doctor and Valarie. And yes, Curiosity Shop is also my favourite episode in the arc, thus far.
What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to listen to Broken Hearts in order to understand the overarching narrative. It’s more or less standalone, but also “an accidental two-parter”, according to Max Kashevsky (who has written All’s Fair in the forthcoming boxset Everywhere and Anywhere, due to be released in December). And since the story will be out in November, it perfectly coincides with the 10th anniversary of The Day of the Doctor. Could it be they’ll release it on the 23rd? We’ll have to see about that…
Directed by Helen Goldwyn, The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles: Breaking Hearts is now available to pre-order on digital download only. In the meantime, you can also catch up with the previous two volumes (plus checking out my reviews), and read these brilliant Twitter threads by Lisa McMullin and Alfie Shaw on the story’s background.