Witch from the Well (2011)

The second story featuring the Eighth Doctor and Mary Shelley is a story that manages to keep the same feeling as ‘The Silver Turk’ despite it being in a different setting. This story was written by Rick Briggs this story (according to Briggs on the extras) was more convoluted in the original version. Briggs had written the episode ‘The Entropy Composition’ in the 2010 anthology release ‘Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’. My opinion of his story was that it was a bit difficult to understand which was frustrating in a 25 minute episode, now that he has four episodes to tell his tale is going to be far more easy to listen to.

This story starts off quite interesting with the Doctor and Mary going back in time to find out how a witch has ended up in a well. When I realised that the story was going to have a lot of ‘funny’ accents and set in a time where people are backward thinking, my heart sank slightly because I just get tired of them and think that they don’t really offer anything new but what Nick – sorry Rick- has done is to make me forget about that and actually get involved in the story and I found the character to be quite strong and good. I don’t understand why whenever a story goes back in time to that they always have to go to the West Country. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them but it’s very rare that you hear Welsh characters or other areas of the country.

Both Paul McGann and Julie Cox were very good in this and considering they spend the majority of the story apart from one another, Cox is very strong. Especially when she is in the TARDIS. It’s good how she seems to have adapted to the workings of the TARDIS so quickly. Of the supporting cast, the biggest name belonged to Simon Rouse who plays Master John Kincaid. He quite a big name because of his time on the show ‘The Bill’ but for Doctor Who fans he is famous because of his show stealing performance as Hindle in the 1982 adventure ‘Kinda’. Having just watched that story its quite impressive how the performances are so different yet are so good. Rouse has done a good job with what is a fairly normal role.

The story spends a long time going from the Doctor and Mary Shelley but at no point did I get a feeling that the story was sagging though I must admit that I was starting to get slightly confused whilst in episode four. Just when I thought that the story was going to go off the boil it redeems itself. The moment when the witch turns out to be energy was quite a clever and frankly better way to end the story.

The Witch from the Well isn’t a perfect story but there is more than enough to like from this story and its great to get the chance to see what Rick Briggs could do with more time and hopefully he will get more chances to write stories in the future.

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