THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
"CASTLE OF FEAR."
BIG FINISH CD#113
Who wouldn't want a
Thomas Brewster for
A Perfect World
Apparently Thomas Brewster’s departure in this episode was always on the cards, but that does not make it any easier to swallow. I was just starting to get rather attached to the mischievous old mudlark…
It is fitting though that Jonathan Morris, the writer that first introduced us to Brewster, is given the opportunity to pen the character’s swansong. I really enjoyed being treated to stories from two different writers on this release – it really feels like more for your money, especially when you consider just how disparate “Time Reef” and “A Perfect World” are.
“Brewster… I think he’s been here before.”
Whereas “Time Reef” was an audacious, visceral story, “A Perfect World” is a gentle character piece. It begins with a flashback to Brewster visiting 2008 (back when he had adverse possession of the Doctor’s TARDIS!), where he met and fell in love with a contemporary girl, Connie Winter. We then fast-forward to shortly after “Time Reef”, where Brewster asks the Doctor to take him back to 2008. Of course Brewster neglects to mention to the Doctor that he specifically wants to visit 2008 so that he can see Connie. That, and the fact that his earlier visit caused some sort of breach in the fabric of space-time that a couple of brummie plumbers (pardon me, an “existential maintenance” team) had to seal…
“You’re a version of me that never messed up. You’re perfect.”
The science-fiction element of this episode is very well done despite the tremendous cliché. Nicholas Farrell and Sean Connolly’s hilarious plumbers go a bit too far with their repair job, you see - they plug the hole, but in doing so make a few superficial tweaks to Connie’s world, creating a ‘perfect world’ which, predictably, she hates.
“For some people small, pointless blunders are what life is all about!”
Peter Davison clearly relishes the opportunity to misquote that “small, beautiful moments” line from “Earthshock” that he so loathes; quite the quirk of fate given that here, just like in “Time Reef”, his Doctor is every bit as cantankerous as some of his less cordial incarnations! The Doctor even manages to be ‘insulted’ by Brewster’s relatively swift departure.
The performances are great throughout the episode. John Pickard is once again terrific as Brewster, and Rebecca Callard, who only had a peripheral role in “Time Reef”, is particularly brilliant as Connie.
“A Perfect World” draws to a close with Brewster heading towards the Doctor’s old house
on Baker Street, looking forward to a life full of “small, pointless blunders” and conjugal strife. As Connie says, “it’s not every day that the world turns into a Richard Curtis movie”, and in Doctor Who it is even rarer. And so, just for once, it is nice to see a companion gifted a comparatively happy ending…
…but it would be even nicer to see that companion return!
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2008
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