The Witch from the Well (#154)

Big Finish Main Range

I can’t say I was inspired or particularly amazed by this story as Mary and the Doctor go their separate ways almost from the beginning of this story. She is definitely learning a lot about empathizing with “the monster” in her travels with the Doctor. In this story, it works out well, no pun intended. But empathizing with the Cybermen is just never going to work out for you (see The Silver Turk).

The most interesting character is easily Agnes Bates. I found Lucern and Finicia a bit tedious in their parts. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see what you’re trying to do but why save Agnes when you’re not really saving her? There are moments where the story doesn’t quite resolve itself so I figure those are the moments where the story used to be convoluted – Rick Briggs tells us all about the first incarnation of the script on the extras. I’m glad they have a new writer on board, even with the confusing last name!

I rather enjoyed the Mary part of the story more than the Doctor part of the story as his part was just more fraught with danger. Hanged? Stoned? Burned at the stake? What’s the best option for being killed. Hmmm. NOT. Despite the chaos, I just liked Mary’s way of thinking things through and making the leaps of faith to figure it all out. I like Mary Shelley as a companion so far, though the stories seem almost too focused on her perspective. The stories are now more focused on the pieces that make up the stories she wrote later on – the monster versus the scientist, empathy with the monster, things like that. It is making me want to read all of her works, though!

This was a good story but not great. The acting couldn’t take it to the next level for me as I just wasn’t “moved” by the tale overall. Though I did like the climactic scenes with the aliens and the witch. Fun but just average.

Paul McGann and Julie Cox

Writer: Rick Briggs

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: November 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019