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How the Doctor and Susan's adventures had started has always been a curiosity for Whovians. Whilst many understandably don't want too much revealed about the Doctor's past, it is undeniably interesting to find out what happened when they fled Gallifrey. In the wrong hands, the story could have been potentially damaging for the series due to revealing too much about the Doctor. Thankfully, Big Finish Productions are definitely the right hands (even if the story itself isn't really their strongest).
The Beginning is a part of a series called the Companion Chronicles: basically, each release a companion of the Doctor's narrates a past adventure and one or two supporting actors appear during the story. In this Companion Chronicle, Susan (Carole Anne Ford) talks about her and the Doctor's encounter with a stowaway called Quadrigger Stoyn (Terry Molloy).
Quadrigger Stoyn is never going to be an iconic Big Finish character like Molly Sullivan or Liv Chenka but he is a good enough foil for the Doctor and Susan's attempts to escape Gallifrey. It was a good idea to make him an engineer who was working on the TARDIS the Doctor and Susan stole as it reinforces this Doctor's very rash behaviour. The first Doctor never really thought plans through as well as his successors; it's with later experience that he becomes better at running away. Terry Molloy is great in the role too, making Stoyn an endearingly engaging character.
It's nice how this story ties in neatly with Name of the Doctor too. The TARDIS is clearly of the same look as the capsule shown in the eleventh Doctor episode and there's even a reference to Clara telling the Doctor to steal the faulty TARDIS (Susan describes hearing voices outside the first TARDIS the Doctor is about to enter in Name). Hell, they even manage to fit in a reference to the Hand of Omega - it follows the Doctor into the TARDIS they end up stealing.
Unfortunately, once the Doctor and Susan arrive on their first adventure, it all goes a bit bland. Their first trip finds them arrive on the moon, where they encounter a species called the Archaeons who are interfering with the development of life on Earth. Nothing much really happens, which is a shame because the Doctor and Susan's journey to the repair shop on Gallifrey sounds much more interesting. I think Big Finish would have been better delivering a story entirely about the Doctor and Susan's escape as there are a lot of interesting plot points that weren't resolved in this release. Why were the Doctor and Susan being chased by guards, for instance? What did they do? Why did they have to flee Gallifrey? This would have been a much more engaging story and it could have ended with the Doctor and Susan stealing the TARDIS and thereby beginning their adventures through time and space.
Carole Anne Ford is a great narrator though and provides a certain energy to the story. This is a great help for when the story becomes about their first adventure, as it adds some much needed life to an otherwise lifeless TARDIS trip. She seems to know exactly how to engage the reader, making her one of Big Finish's strongest for the Companion Chronicles range.
Overall, The Beginning is interesting when it deals with the Doctor and Susan's escape from Gallifrey but once the focus shifts to their first adventure, it becomes a little dull and uninspiring. Thankfully Carole Anne Ford helps to make the first TARDIS trip feel a bit more energetic, proving herself to be an extremely strong and engaging reader. There are some nice references too to the Clara splinter on Gallifrey and the Hand of Omega; it also feels like a natural before and after of the TARDIS-stealing scene from Name of the Doctor, making it easier to be considered canonical than if the events of Name of the Doctor had been ignored. This story is definitely worth listening to for the scenes where the Doctor and Susan are escaping Gallifrey, just don't expect their first TARDIS trip to deliver anything spectacular.