Short Trips – Lant Land (Subscriber Bonus)

Jonny Morris is the M.C. Escher of Doctor Who scripts. When you see his name on an audio, it’s a good bet that time or space or reality is going to be inverted or subverted or turned into silly string.

In Lant Land, the Doctor, Turlough and Tegan land in a completely ordinary apartment with two completely ordinary people. Absolutely nothing exciting happens. And it’s all vaguely unnerving.

Naturally, the Doctor is too curious to leave this boring place unexamined, while Turlough and Tegan sense the wrongness and don’t want to stick around. With no Nyssa to mediate, the Doctor plays diplomat to defuse their tactlessness and snark. It sounds as if he’s guessed the real danger and is trying to prevent them from setting it off.

“Turlough”? “Tegan”? What silly names. Did you make them up? — Joanne

Lant Land is a clever inversion of a standard SF trope packaged in an uneventful 25-minute narrative read by Duncan Wisbey, who is voicing all five characters. (He’s fine, but Stephen Crichtlow who read Sphinx Lightning [review] and A Home From Home [review] spoiled me; he’s nearly as good as the regular Who actors). It’s a tasty little subscriber bonus, and it’s fun hearing Jonny Morris’ descriptive prose instead of only dialog, but it’s not a must-listen.

It’s a biscuit-sized audio, in other words, rather than a full-fledged feast for the ears.

Continuity note: There’s no specific details  to link it to other stories, but Turlough’s needling of Tegan sounds like it’s still fairly early in Turlough’s run, before they’ve come to a grudging understanding.

Spoilerific Comments

The ending is disconcerting and alarmingly open-ended. It’s spoofing The Sims or MMOs, but in a sense, it’s also spoofing us, the listeners, supplementing our boring lives by subscribing to and living vicariously through adventure stories. We wonder what the Doctor and friends will do next!