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About the Story
You are the Doctor, a mysterious traveller in time and space. Will YOU succeed in foiling the ghastly plans of the horrible Porcians, the most inept invaders in all the cosmos? Or will you get yourself killed, over and over again?
Winter Is Coming
The first story, ‘You Are The Doctor’ ...[is] an audio take on the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks. At certain points in the story, you’re asked to make a choice that will affect the Doctor and Ace by selecting one of two specific tracks. One track leads to death for our heroes, the other leads to the Doctor and Ace surviving until the next choice. Of course, this being Doctor Who, there’s a lot more to the choices than having interactive fun with the listener, and even listening to it in linear order, it’s a pretty fun story, as the Doctor and Ace start to get the strangest sense of déjà vu.
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The first story on the disc is by far the cleverest one and actually requires user interaction. It’s the audio version of a “Choose Your Own Adventure,” where you are suddenly playing the role of the Doctor. Ace has accidentally landed you on an unknown ship instead of in Australia. There’s natural gravity and it smells like a sewage plant. What do you do? The choice is up to you, with the narration directing you to leap forward and back as needed in the title. As you navigate through the episode, you wind up getting entrenched in the nasty plot involving the Porcians, which is normal for being the Doctor. The wrong path just may kill you. Or not.
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You are the Doctor comes from the pen of John Dorney, and it delivers on its title: you are given a choice at the end of each track as to what action you, the Doctor, want to take. I didn’t actually play the game and I’m not convinced it’s meant to be played. Instead, it's a fairly simple set of binary branching choices, one of which almost always results in you getting killed.
This is definitely one of those stories that’s “clever”, and lives or dies on that. It’s a clever conceit, and 25 minutes turns out to be exactly the right length.
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Big Finish gained the license to classic Doctor Who several years after the series ended in 1989, and it began to produce audio dramas beginning circa 2000. While most were straightforward radio-style plays, some releases were more experimental.
"You Are the Doctor" is available on CD or as an archive of audio files; at the end of each track, listeners are instructed to skip to a different track, much like a standard choose-your-own adventure book. Black Mirror used a similar format in 2018 for Bandersnatch, but with (automated) video chapter skipping rather than audio tracks.
While "You Are the Doctor" is not particularly memorable—or, at least, I do not remember it in detail—it has high production values, with the original cast members (Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred) playing their original roles.
It was written by John Dorney, one of the more popular writers at Big Finish. Comedy works well for short pieces, and Dorney made the sensible decision to bring back one of his alien races—a bumbling race of villainous pigs called Porcians—for this story.
Unfortunately "You Are the Doctor" only makes up one-quarter of the entire release and runs for about half an hour, meaning it is somewhat overpriced for those who are only interested in the story itself.
Another comparable release from Big Finish was 2003's "Flip Flop," a two-part story that allowed listeners to play either part first. See also "Attack of the Graske," an interactive movie for the revived series, originally broadcast on BBC's Red Button service in 2005.
|Bandersnatch, by Charlie Brooker, David Slade|
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
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