At the heart of this story is an environmental message. Protect nature and it will protect you, mess with it and it is coming for you big style. Are the trees malevolent, benevolent or just misunderstood. Sometimes challenging the wisdom of elders is good but sometimes it is folly.
However any issues with the cottage dwellers all seemed to be forgotten by Mother nature when the first Doctor threatened it with a smacked bottom in a sparkling piece of dialogue that had me laughing out loud while appreciating its utter magnificence too. It is exactly the sort of thing the first Doctor would have said and bravo Anthony Keetch for writing it. Having said that Sometimes the first Doctor drifted a little into parody but here, in the speech, it was spot on and brilliantly done.
Peter Purves does an great job and makes it seem so effortless. He really brings this very good story to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It does draw on many themes but it was a pleasure to listen to. HE is also ruddy good as the first Doctor capturing the essence of the late, brilliant, William Hartnell in the portrayal without ever becoming a parody or bad impression.
I really enjoyed this story. It was a great listen from start to end and I would happily listen to it again. It is not perfect but it is pretty good all the same and hits the right notes for the festive season. A very worthy 8/10 for me .
Doctor Who: Short Trips Monthly is a series of new short stories read by an original cast member.
Release #36 is a First Doctor and Steven story.
It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid…
The TARDIS has landed in a winter wonderland and the weather outside is frightful.
A world of dread and fear and it’s not just the frost that is cruel…
It’s Christmas Eve, but will the Doctor and Steven get to see another one?
And of all the trees in the wood, who really bears the crown?
Producer Ian Atkins
Script Editor Ian Atkins
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Written By: Anthony Keetch
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Peter Purves (Narrator)