Reviewed By: thisoldcan
Review Date: 5/1/16 4:54 am
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The Curse of the Fugue is the first story since 2011's Eighth Doctor Adventures story To the Death to feature Sheridan Smith. It features the 8th Doctor and Lucie as they work to help a woman face the demons of her past amidst a power outage.
The Short Trips range is probably the most straightforward range there is. It's really a true audio book, featuring one person acting as the narrator. I personally haven't listened to any Short Trips before this one (I've still got the first 8th Doctor Short Trip waiting in the wings) and I'm not quite sure how I feel about them. On the one hand, it's really nice that they got Sheridan Smith back to voice Lucie, if only sparingly and for a half-hour. On the other, it was a pretty mediocre story, and I don't think the format quite suited the fanfare surrounding it.
Sheridan Smith is fine here. The moments when she's voicing Lucie again are excellent; it's like she never left the role. Her narration is good, if sometimes a bit indistinct, especially when she's voicing other actors. It's sometimes rather hard to figure out who she's voicing unless she specifically says something like, "'blah blah blah', said the Doctor".
As I said above, I found the plot fairly mediocre. It was an interesting topic that could've easily been a full-length story. But the length of the story was really detrimental; they had to wrap everything up fairly quickly, and it was rather unsatisfying to listen to. And there was barely any of Big Finish's excellent soundscapes in this story. There were a few sound effects and some very light music here and there, but it was overall just not a satisfying story to listen to.
Overall, I think the main draw of this story will be the novelty of Sheridan Smith returning (however briefly, though I suspect it's due to her extremely busy schedule) to the role of Lucie for the first time in 5 years and the low price point. For the price, the novelty, and the length, it's a perfectly fine story, if almost instantly forgettable.