The Eternal Summer, by Jonathan Morris
Ah, Stockbridge! We’ve been here before, you know… no wait, I’ve said that already, haven’t I? We really have been here before…
It’s the perfect English summer’s day in Stockbridge – just as it has been every day for as long as anybody can remember. And Doctor Smith, who has been lodging in the pub for as long as anybody can remember, is very worried. As is Nyssa the postmistress, who has been dispensing stamps for as long as anybody can remember… but what year is it, really? 1948, 1966, 1977, or 2010? Or all of them at the same time?
Only one man can help: Maxwell Edison. Oh dear…
Though Edison is, by nature, a buffoon and an anorak, his presence is needed to sweeten the mixture in this play, and then even his resolution is bitter-sweet. There’s a lot of tragedy for the secondary characters to work through while the Doctor and Nyssa attempt to free themselves of this temporal paradox – all their yesterdays rolled into one, in a never-ending loop. “We take it in turns to die first,” one character explains. “That way we take care of each other till the end…”
Ouch. A good job the levity of Castle of Fear has been left behind. There’s still plenty for Sarah Sutton & Peter Davison to do however, not least take on much darker roles than usual. An interesting and quite compelling take on Stockbridge life.