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Review of Flight to Calandra by PalindromeRose

5 May 2024

Doctor Who – The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles: Timejacked!

#2.01. Flight to Calandra ~ 8/10

◆ An Introduction

As Jacob Dudman continues to wow in the latest batch of Eleventh Doctor audios, I thought it would be nice to take a look at the most neglected branch of ‘The Doctor Chronicles’.

It’s time to take a dive into the Twelfth Doctor’s life… and he’s about to get ‘Timejacked!’

◆ Publisher’s Summary

The Doctor wants a peaceful afternoon playing guitar in his study. Keira wants the Doctor to take her from Earth to the planet Calandra. Reluctantly, the Doctor agrees. But when they arrive, Calandra isn't how Keira remembers. Something's gone very wrong…

◆ The Twelfth Doctor

Whilst his impersonation of Capaldi isn’t quite as good as his impersonation of Smith, I’ve got to give kudos to Jacob Dudman for still doing a really solid job here.

The Doctor doesn’t usually allow students in his office uninvited, and sometimes wonders if the university could run without students full stop. He is the one that does the sarcasm, nobody else. He’s been on Earth for the best part of a century, and can’t understand how it’s taken Keira so long to find him. The Doctor simply can’t help being funny, just ask Harold Lloyd, it’s a natural flair. According to him, there isn’t such a thing as too many questions. He thinks it’s a refreshing change to find someone pointing a gun at his companion, rather than himself. The Doctor’s entry visa to Calandra claims that he’s a galaxy renowned expert in everything! Rather amusingly, he doesn’t give too much of a damn that Keira is being taken into custody by the locals: she made her bed in this situation, but he’s more than happy to let the locals do the tucking in. All the chrome trimmings on Calandra apparently remind him of Metropolis (he met a killer robot at the film shoot. More of a Cyberman, actually). The Doctor once took Jedward to Karfel (shame he didn’t leave them there)! He prefers monorails to trans-mats; they have a simple elegance, and really cool stripes.

◆ Keira Sanstrom

Bhavnisha Parmar does a phenomenal job portraying the Twelfth Doctor’s new companion, and my first impression of Agent Sanstrom is that she’s a complete bad-ass!

Keira quite clearly has a very high opinion of herself, claiming to have never scored anything less than an A-star. She’s dismantled Nardole and left him in the corridor (well most of him, bits of him are in a broom cupboard). When asked why she shot the guitar, and what it had ever done to her, Keira responds by saying that hearing the Doctor play was reason enough! Apparently, she’s a member of the Time Agency.

◆ Trainee Time-Traveller

The titular planet of Calandra was a low-tech civilisation being monitored for temporal anomalies by the Time Agency; the same organisation both Cpt. Harkness and Hart worked for. Unfortunately, the agent that was posted there just so happened to be nothing more than a trainee… who was massively out of her depth!

Keira tried dismantling her vortex manipulator to bypass all the limiters and safety features, but then realised she couldn’t actually reassemble the damn thing. She then decided to take advantage of the technology on Calandra to get herself out of the deep excrement she’d found herself in, by helping to upgrade their transmat systems… which went horrendously wrong. Now the transmat is spitting out sub-standard copies of everybody who ever travelled in it (named “The Confused” by the locals). Having tracked the Doctor down on Earth, she decides to hijack both him and the Tardis, in the hopes he can fix her mess!

I do really like the premise of ‘Flight to Calandra’, and it really shows what can happen when a complete novice when it comes to time travel (Keira) starts interfering in the affairs of a planet. The consequences are, no surprise, devastating.

◆ Sound Design

Lee Adams is handling the sound design for this episode. The technological metropolis of Calandra is really well realised, and this is a pretty good audio landscape overall.

Birds tweet around the grounds of St. Luke’s University, whilst students can be heard going about their day. The Doctor tunes his electric guitar… seconds before Keira blows it up with her charged energy weapon! Alarms blare from the security systems on Calandra, as the crisis continues to escalate. Whole crowds of the Confused congregate outside of the transmat stations, unsure of where or who they are. The robot sweepers stomp around, subjugating the Confused with strange stun guns… that take hours away from their time streams. There’s a full on duel between Keira and Milla around thirty minutes into the episode that is really quite something.

◆ Conclusion

You broke the first rule of the Agency: you interfered!”

An inexperienced Time Agent decides to interfere with the development of a technologically primitive world… with pretty disastrous consequences.

‘Flight to Calandra’ is a brilliant start to this box set, and a great introduction to the Twelfth Doctor’s new companion. I have to say that I really like Keira; she’s arrogant and completely out of her depth, but that makes her perfect folly for the Doctor (someone for him to teach how to be a responsible time traveller). Really looking forward to hearing how ‘Timejacked!’ progresses.

Review created on 5-05-24