The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance was a 2010 audio adaptation of a 1964 Doctor Who spec script of the same name. It was included in The First Doctor Box Set from Big Finish Productions that began the second season of The Lost Stories series.
It was markedly different in format from the published script. Most significantly, it was told from the viewpoint of an omniscient author, which allowed for perspectives unavailable to television audiences or those who read the original script.
Though it featured the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Susan Foreman, it only utilised the vocal talents of William Russell, Carole Ann Ford and some guest artists. It also had a minimalistic musical and foley score, evocative of the First Doctor era of Doctor Who. Thus its format sits somewhere between a Companion Chronicle and an Early Adventure.
From a behind-the-scenes perspective, it was likely most significant, along with the indivisibly purchased Farewell, Great Macedon, for reuniting Ford and Russell for their first professional engagement as Susan and Ian since the television story The Dalek Invasion of Earth in 1964.
Publisher's summary Edit
Fragrance is a paradise world — a utopia that the travellers are loathe to leave after a relaxing stay. But the way of life is different here.
And so is the way of love — as Barbara discovers when the Fragile Yellow Arc is broken...
The TARDIS crew are having a long stay on the planet Fragrance. The planet is almost a paradise for Ian, Barbara, Susan and the First Doctor. As they go around making their farewells, Barbara and the local Rhythm are standing by the lake admiring the view.
Susan is talking to Rhythm’s twin sisters Melody and Harmony, about the possibility of Barbara staying behind with Rhythm. Susan cannot understand why the girls are so adamant that Barbara must stay.
Barbara turns down the offer to stay, declaring that she does not love Rhythm. This saddens the young man to an extreme degree, but Barbara says he will meet someone else one day.
Ian and the Doctor are now talking to Rhythm’s parents, who are also trying to persuade them to let Barbara stay, almost demanding it in fact, which comes as a surprise to the two men.
Meanwhile, Melody and Harmony are now explaining the urgency of the situation to Susan. On Fragrance, love is forever, and it is only possible to love once. So, if Barbara leaves, Rhythm will kill himself, by drowning.
Susan rushes to Barbara explaining how things are, but Barbara is still unwilling to stay. Ian and the Doctor too, are eager to leave as soon as possible.
While the TARDIS dematerialises, Rhythm says goodbye to his family and wanders off to kill himself.
- Ian Chesterton - William Russell
- Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford
- Rhythm - John Dorney
- Melody/Harmony - Helen Goldwyn
- The TARDIS crew have been on the planet Fragrance for a while, long enough to form relationships with the inhabitants of the planet.
- The people of Fragrance go through two stages of life: the Thin Purple Arc and the Fragile Yellow Arc.
- The author intended the story to be one episode. Though this is a highly unusual length for the original version of Doctor Who, it was written before the show had actually evolved "standard" lengths. The Daleks was just beginning its run as Moris Farhi wrote this episode, so it was by no means clear that all stories were going to be the same length as An Unearthly Child, which was itself arguably a one-part story followed by a three-part one.
- Though released by Big Finish Productions as a "lost story", it was really never a serious candidate for production and thus only as "lost" as any story idea that gets turned down after the initial pitch. The difference was that Farhi made his pitch in the form of a completed script, which made it easier to convert into an audio play.
- The sapient species of Fragrance is never named. No noun or adjective for "of or relating to Fragrance" is given by the author or adapter. Thus an "inhabitant" or "native" of Fragrance is the closest the text comes to naming the resident species.
- This story contains an in-depth explanation of how the Doctor actually flies the TARDIS —far more substantial than any given on television.
- This audio drama was recorded on 28 January 2010.
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