Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Widow’s Assassin

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant feast on a nuanced, layered script that I wish they had been given during their television tenures.

Synopsis:

Once, long ago, in a land of monsters and corridors, a fair maiden was captured, and placed in a deep sleep.

She was used to being captured, and she had a hero who rescued her on just such occasions. But this time the hero never came.

And the fair maiden slept on.

Eventually, a King rescued the maiden, and made her his bride, which many wise old women might tell you is just another way of capturing fair maidens.

And still the fair maiden slept on.

Then, the hero had another stab at rescuing the maiden from her prison, but he was too late. And, more importantly, he had forgotten the rules of fairy tales.

He didn’t slay the dragon.

Review: Big Finish’s official synopsis drew me in instantly. I love fairy tales, and thought them the perfect context in which to provide closure for a troublesome chapter in Classic Doctor Who history. To put it bluntly, “Mindwarp” was a hasty, half-baked end to the tedious Trial of a Time Lord arc. Big Finish writer Nev Fountain had a task turning that cosmic sow’s ear into a silk purse. He succeeded.

The narrative problem lay in what truly befell Peri. Did she marry King Yrcanos or become Kiv’s receptacle? Fountain crafted a narrative that acknowledged both fates, while combining murder, court intrigue, fairy tale deconstruction, and comedy. Most importantly, however, the story gets to the heart of the relationship between Six and Peri. Throughout, Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant feast on a nuanced, layered script that I wish they had been given during their television tenures. They play guilt, anger, introspection, betrayal, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. They play the Doctor and his companion.

You can purchase “The Widow’s Assassin” here: http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/the-widow-s-assassin-864

Written By: Nev Fountain

Directed By: Ken Bentley

Cast

Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Tim Chipping (Constable Wolsey/Mandrake), John Banks (Baron Pteratrark/Guard Two), Andrew Dickens (Reverand Flitamus/Guard One), FIona Sheehan (Princess Dirani), Glynn Sweet (Harcross The Ever-Patient/Pheen-Tu/Flunkey)

9.7
Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Widow’s Assassin
  • script, acting
  • I had to wait decades for this.
  • Script
    10
  • Acting
    9
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.

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