The Marian Conspiracy (2000)

The Marian Conspiracy is an important story in this series so far as it is the first character to have only appeared in the audio range and not on TV. This story is written by Jacqueline Rayner, who is also the Executive Producer for the BBC. This story is Colin Baker’s second Doctor story, his previous story was Whispers of Terror and wasn’t a great success. This one is also different because it is a proper historical adventure which doesn’t have an alien threat to it.

This is the debut story for Evelyn Smythe, Evelyn is played by Maggie Stables who previously appeared in the first story ‘The Sirens of Time’, she is very good in the role. The plot is very good and the way that the Doctor and Evelyn are bought together is not the usual way for Doctor Who. The idea that Evelyn is instrumental to the story and that her very existence is a different and yet thoroughly enthralling. She is written in such a caring way that is used as a good emotional point. Jacqueline Rayner has written a script that moves at a steady pace and characters that are of all ranges.

Colin Baker is good as the Doctor and Maggie Stables is brilliant as a new companion its unusual that Doctor Who would have a companion that isn’t the typical mid 20’s screaming woman and so the addition of Evelyn is a great creative move. By creating a new companion that hasn’t been seen on TV means that there will be no preconceptions of the character and that means that we can get to know the character like those who watched Peri or Mel when they first appeared in the TV series. Other characters in the story also work well in this story, Anah Ruddin was very good as the Queen. She played the role with sympathy and care. Sean Jackson and Jez Fielder are a good double act as George Crow and William Leaf and add a bit of comedy relief to the tension at the beginning of episode 2 as the story starts to pick up on the pace.

Overall this is a very good story with a good script and a good direction. It is a fine start for the character of Evelyn and bodes well for the future.

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