Written by John Dorney
Released by Big Finish
The historical adventures of Doctor Who’s classic TV series always had a bad reputation. Commissioned to educate the younger viewers, they soon lost out to tales of Daleks, Yeti and the like and a number have been lost to time.
What a shame that a writer of John Dorney’s calibre wasn’t around then, as with this tale of the Fourth Doctor and Leela in the midst of Boudica’s war against the Romans, he has fashioned Who’s greatest historical tale ever.
A grand claim perhaps, but listen to the evidence. We have Leela learning that valour without honour is simple barbarism. We have the Doctor realising how much he needs his ‘savage’. We have real insight into the complexities of the Roman invasion of Britain. And we have humour, suspense and sword battles galore.
As ever with Big Finish’s productions, the sound design is superb, and the mind’s eye has no difficulty conjuring up the images to go with the spectacular audio. And the performances are uniformly superb, from Ella Kennion as Boudica and Nia Roberts as a conflicted Iceni named Bragnar, to Tom Baker and Louise Jameson exploring depths to their characters and relationship that were never even hinted at on TV.
This ongoing Fourth Doctor and Leela series has, at its core, the Doctor’s education of his companion. Wrath of the Iceni shows that the relationship of master and student is truly in the balance. Next month, the Daleks return, but I hope another pure historical adventure might be on offer later.
- Doctor Who: Trail of the White Worm
- Doctor Who: The Oseidon Adventure
- Doctor Who Radio Star
- Doctor Who: The Fourth Wall
- Doctor Who: The Jupiter Conjunction