Doctor Who – Short Trips: Intuition Review

By Will Barber Taylor

The Sixth Doctor and Mel are in the Swiss mountains for some rest and relaxation after recent exertions. But soon the Doctor finds himself involved in a mystery, as those working in the resort’s hospitality prove preternaturally willing to help.

Is it just mere chance? The Doctor’s intuition is that something is wrong: but intuition could be the very problem here…

The Sixth Doctor is perhaps one of the more difficult Doctors to write for. This is not because of Colin Baker, who perfectly embodies the bombastic but loveable Time Lord. Rather it is the presumptions about his era. This, however, is not an issue in Rob Nisbet’s excellent story, Intuition.

With an atmosphere and setting that reflects the gothic horror of Revelation of the Daleks, Intuition is a hauntingly creepy tale that fits perfectly to the Sixth Doctor’s character. Rather than smothering the Sixth Doctor, it makes the most of his quirks and brings out his character fully. Whether he is doing battle with the Swiss waiter or dealing with the apparent alien threat, Nisbet writes the Sixth Doctor with the full flourishes and panache that he deserves.

Nisbet’s writing further brings the visually packed nature of the story to life. Why a Doctor Who TV story has not yet been set in the Alps is a true wonder as the scenery works perfectly and has a quixotically insidious and calming presence that elevates the plot of Intuition, making it an all the more engrossing experience; it isn’t simply a tale to be listened to and then discarded but rather one that questions your perspective on the world and offers a novel and wonderful twist on intuition as a literary device.

Stephen Critchlow gives a stunning reading of this story. He brings the Sixth Doctor to life with all his idiosyncrasies and vocal ticks as well as the other characters from the waiter, to Mel, to Ur. Critchlow inhabits them all and his rasping portrayal of Ur is particularly noteworthy and one that will linger in your mind.

Nisbet’s script is playful in this way and as such allows us to not only enjoy its creeping sense of dread that builds up to the grand finale but also enjoy the twists and turns that lead us to it. It also dares its audience to join in, to be intuitive about what will happen next to The Doctor. This is why it is such an enjoyable story – because it mixes a debonair playfulness with a gripping story, much like the Sixth Doctor himself.

You can purchase Intuition from Big Finish here.

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