Once again, the BBC is giving us nice things for free! And of course it's Doctor Who. Over on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel, you can stream a short story from BBC Audio's Doctor Who Audio Annual. "Conundrum" is read by Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric, one of the 4th Doctor's (Tom Baker) final companions before he regenerated. The idea behind the Audio Annual is to recreate an audio version of the old Doctor Who Annual books. Those were hardcover trade books that usually came out once a year around Christmas. They were usually about 120 pages of artwork, original comics stories, interviews with the actors, original prose stories, artwork, photos and puzzles. For kids in the U.K. and the former colonies, these were often stocking stuffers at Christmas.
"Conundrum" features the 4th Doctor and Adric in a TARDIS-centric adventure, responding to an SOS in space and get caught up in a timey-wimey puzzle of a plot. It's fun to hear Matthew Waterhouse read the story and do impressions of Baker's Doctor, playing his younger self as Adric and even the late John Leeson's K-9. It's all very Old School Doctor Who and good fun, an exercise in nostalgia. The only complaint here is that the credit for who wrote the story is missing. You would think the BBC should do well to properly credit the writer? Doctor Who stories do not write themselves.
It runs for 22 minutes. That's enough for an entire episode of the old show when they were only half an hour long. It's one of five stories, each featuring a different Doctor and era of the show. The other readers include Peter Purves (Steven), Anneke Wills (Polly), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master, standing in for the late Roger Delgado) and Nicola Bryant (Peri) The 2-CD set was originally released around Christmas in 2017, just like all the original annual books.