The Lady of Mercia (#173)

Big Finish Main Range

This story has all of the elements of a historical plus a “modern” twist. There’s a rogue time machine moving people back and forth from the 10th Center and 1983. There are battles, Tegan wielding a sword, Turlough fighting, and the Doctor begging people to please calm down. I really love how easily Tegan adjusts to being in the 10th Century versus Prof. John Bleak who is dragged along – very nice contrast! I would be the Professor myself – amazed, then stunned, then put off/depressed, then finally accepting and marveling at it. This story really shows off Tegan as an independent woman doing what she can to help out. Now THIS is a story that should’ve been on TV to give the audience a view of how she could be as a character. This is the first story where I really respect and enjoy Tegan as a companion, instead of just rolling my eyes at her complaints.

Admittedly Nyssa doesn’t get much to do at all and Turlough hints at having a little affair with Dr. Philippa Stone. Queen AEthelfrid is a strong character that weakens throughout the story and Princess Aelfwynn is all bravado. But she grows as a character through her experience in the future. There doesn’t seem to be much of a point to the protestors but they just add to the chaos. Their protests are explained and are reasonable, ultimately, but their leader’s sleeping with Dr. Stone, which seems a bit strange as well. Despite all of this, I really liked this story for Tegan and her developing as a character. The Doctor and everyone else just seems kind of helpless, though, so only a 4 jelloid story but a 5+ on the Tegan scale! I think I am finally starting to like her as a companion.

Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton

Writers: Paul Magrs

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: May 2013

Laura Vilensky 2019