THIS STORY TAKES
"A THOUSAND TINY
JOHN AINSWORTH &
BIG FINISH CD#131
RELEASED IN FEBRUARY
Elizabeth Klein is an
anomaly. A renegade
from an alternate
future in which the
Nazis won THE SECOND
In an attempt to get
to know his latest
the Doctor invites
Klein to tell him how
exactly she came to
be in possession of
his TARDIS and of the
events that led to her
trip into the past to
I was astounded to learn that Klein’s Story came about purely as a result of the decision to condense Survival of the Fittest into three episodes. To me, its presence at the heart of this season of adventures is of critical importance to the arc. Whilst the key events
in Klein’s history could be inferred from the events of Steve Lyons’ Colditz, there is a world
of difference between putting together the pieces of some distant puzzle and enjoying a full-cast dramatisation drawn from them.
As a huge fan of both Colditz and
temporally-twisting tales generally,
inevitably I was very excited about
this episode, particularly once it had
been announced that Paul McGann
would be playing a character by the
name of ‘Johann Schmidt’ in it. And
as wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey tales go, they rarely get more complicated or rewarding than this one with its alternative (but ultimately, not all that different) regeneration and its longest
of long games. Indeed, Klein’s Story is potentially the most intriguing half-hour story that Big
Finish have yet told.
And under Lyons’ watchful gaze, John Ainsworth and Lee Mansfield have done a sterling job of fleshing out and dramatising those few telling lines of dialogue in Colditz. The episode is framed much like a Companion Chronicle is, with the in-character Tracey Childs narrating the events that led to her Colditz Castle to the intrigued Doctor, whilst the understated Paul McGann and the magnificently poised Rupert Wickham lend voice to their respective char-acters.
The authors elaborate beautifully upon Lyons’ framework, introducing us to the character
of Jonas Faber - Klein’s commander and, it seems, her lover. This small but telling reveal helped me to look at Klein – at Elizabeth – in a whole new light; in fact, I almost felt sorry
for her. The Doctor’s plan is so meticulous and his manipulation of her so devious that he almost comes across as the heel here. In fact, were Klein not a temporally-unscrupulous Nazi with a callous eye on getting her feller into the recently-deceased Führer’s chair, then one might question the Doctor’s methods. But she isn’t. And so we don’t.
Short and sweet, Klein’s Story does exactly what it says on the tin, and it does so with great imagination and even greater relish.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
When Klein enters the TARDIS at the start of this episode, she is surprised about how the console room has changed since she last saw it, but it is not stated how it appeared when she saw it last (in Colditz) or how it appears now (save for that it isn’t leopard print!) Given the likely placement of Colditz, it seems reasonable to assume that Klein is used to the glowing white TARDIS interior of the seventh Doctor’s television adventures, and that the TARDIS’ “theme” used in this story is the gothic interior of the TV Movie as well as (we believe) the seventh Doctor’s later adventures with Ace and Hex.
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