Doctor Who: Redacted – Episode Three – Lost

Doctor Who redacted (5 out of 5 stars)

Doctor Who: Redacted – Episode three begins revealing the mystery and divulging further into the leads they continue unearthing.

Doctor Who: Redacted episode three continues to demonstrate masterful storytelling with leads Cleo (Charlie Craggs), Abby (Lois Chimimba) and Shawna (Holly Quin-Ankrah) attempting to unravel the mystery they’ve unwillingly found themselves engulfed in.

As part of their Blue Box files podcast, the trio determine the cause and mystery of a police box that appears throughout history leaving in its wake a trail of missing people and forgetfulness.

After the cliffhanger of episode two, Cleo and brother Jordan (Jacob Hawley) met with a holographic projection of Rani Chandra, with Anjli Mohindra reprising her role from The Sarah Janes Adventures.

Rani, in true science fiction style, appeared at the rendezvous when a monstrous threat hacked into Rani’s hologram projection and located Cleo’s position in London as the source of the transmission putting them in grave danger and planting the seeds for the rest of the series.

Where Doctor Who: Redacted truly excels is in writer Juno Dawson and director Ella Watts‘ attention to character.

Unlike some more recent episodes of the BBC serial, both Dawson and Watts prominently engross our attention with these characters, giving them time to breathe, grow and shape over the course of the ten-part series.

Episode three expands more on Cleo’s challenges as a trans woman with her mother failing to recognise or accept her daughter’s identity.

Unfortunately, with the introduction of Cleo’s mum, Monica Proctor (Sarah Thom), we see first-hand her inability to accept her daughter referring to her initially by her dead name, an all too real experience for many individuals with families who fail to accept those they should care about.

Though, with this, Doctor Who: Redacted also introduces the wider family for Shawna giving a further level of emotional attachment to this sensational story.

Personally, the fact that I already care so much about Cleo and the unrequited infatuation Shawna has for Abby after three episodes, with another seven scheduled, affirms just how strong this series is at understanding the importance of character, and prioritising substance over style.

I would argue in fact, that with the omission of visuals, special effects, and pyrotechnics, the show instead, by relying on audio on BBC Sounds becomes an additional tool as a way of telling its story, elevating the tale to greatness similar to that of a Big Finish Production.

Having characters panned to either the left or right ear during dialogue replicates the visual cinema language of filming an over-shoulder mid-shot, and shows the understanding of the medium and how it can be done to create a clever weaving of original storytelling.

Also, there is one thing that episode three does, that the others have yet to do: show the long-lasting effects of a ‘redaction’ as Cleo becomes one of the few people to remember Queen Victoria given Victoria’s own muddling with the Gallifreyan time-traveller in Doctor Who werewolf tale Tooth and Claw.

As such, I would be intrigued therefore to see how the series progresses given the now entire abduction of Victoria from the Doctor Who timeline given her founding of Torchwood, and how that could have implications post-mortem such as the famous Battle of Canary Wharf.

Doctor Who: Redacted episode three is a feminist, progressive celebration of Doctor Who storytelling to give Russell T. Davies a run for his showrunner money, whilst showing Richard Curtis how Yesterday could have been done simpler, and with better execution.

Doctor Who: Redacted episode three is available to listen to now exclusively on BBC Sounds.

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By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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