Dalek Universe 2 ends on an extremely high note. “The Lost” is claustrophobic, interesting and full of development for both The Doctor and Anya, as well as their relationship together. Want to know more? Well, why don’t you read the review! (or skip down to the score if you don’t want spoilers!)
When the Doctor’s latest scheme to get back to the future fails, the team’s ship crashes on a strange world, potentially trapping them for ever.
Searching for replacement parts, they find their way to a building where heart-breakingly familiar faces await them.
Lies are about to be exposed. Everyone will learn the truth. And nothing will be the same again.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Fancy that, a great cover to go along with the great story!
This story starts off with The Doctor and Anya trying to use Arborecc’s device and end up falling into an unstable pocket universe, one that they soon travel across and even camp out under the sort-of starlight, furthering their bond and trying to come to terms with the loss of Mark Seven. Eventually they reach a large manor house and split up to explore it but both encounter a being only known as “The Lost” (Leighton Pugh), a being that has been trapped in this pocket universe for eons and wishes to be free. It uses its mental powers to probe both of their minds and tries to manipulate them, breaking them apart so the one person that can exit the universe takes him with it, rather than any sentiment halting either taking the one way to freedom. It does this by pulling out a bunch of names of companions that The Doctor has let die (including some audio ones! Hooray!) while it in turn tells Anya that The Doctor was present and even partially responsible for the deaths of her aunt Sara and uncle Bret whom she always looked up to.
The argument reaches boiling point and Anya takes her own life so The Doctor can escape, but he refuses, and certainly has no intention of taking The Lost with him. Sadly the ending is kind of meh as I’ll get to down below, but there is some properly great dialogue on show here.
As mentioned the ending is a bit flat. The Doctor thinks of something clever and uses some salvaged tech to travel back in time and appear before his old self and makes sure the original tech works properly so he and Anya never end up in the pocket universe to begin with, though oddly both The Doctor and Anya remember the events of the pocket universe anyway…? This then leads to a jokey River Song cliffhanger leading into the next set which also felt out of place, but hey-ho. It’s a great story for the other 50 minutes!
The overall cover bears no visual mention of this story, but then it would be rather difficult to, really…
As well as following on from “The Trojan Dalek” the story does have a good number of call backs. As already mentioned is uses the deaths of Sarah and Bret from First Doctor epic “The Daleks’ Master Plan” a lot, as well as mentioned other companions The Doctor had let die or at least lost in some form, including the obvious ones like Adric (as seen in Fifth Doctor classic “Earthshock”), Rose and Donna (Tenth Doctor two partners “Army of Ghosts / Doomsday” and “The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End”, respectively) but also mentions First Doctor audio companion Oliver Harper (“The First Wave”) and Lucie Miller form the Eighth Doctor audios (her end being the two-parter “Lucie Miller / To The Death”).
The Doctor also mentions of how full the pre-Time War universe was of God-like beings much to his distress, that made me laugh. He guessed that The Lost might be an Eternal, who appeared in the Fifth Doctor TV story “Enlightenment” as well as the Seventh Doctor comic “Uninvited Guest”.
The Lost was a great hour-ish of Doctor Who audio drama, full of brilliant dialogue and scenes between just The Doctor, Anya and the titular Lost. Whether this episode has any meaningful impact in the long run remains to be seen, but either way it’s highly recommended listening and continues the Dalek Universe strand’s high hit rate. Let’s hope Box 3 can stick the landing!