Top critical review
What lurks in the well?
on 13 October 2016
The Tardis dematerialises in a small English village as Martha and the Doctor embark upon a quest for a traditional cream tea. But, typically enough, instead of finding scones cream and jam they find aliens, treasure and marmalade.
The plot of an ancient monster buried underground for years being resurrected isn’t that uncommon and ‘Wishing Well’ doesn’t really offer anything not seen in Doctor Who before. However, using a small, somewhat, parochial, village as a locale allows the author to tap into several elements that have often been successful in Doctor Who. Having the action revolve around the village green (where the eponymous well is situated), the local pub and the typical manor house and accompanying estate is also reminiscent of a few onscreen adventures.
There’s a relatively small cast of characters but this works quite well within the confines of the plot. Henry Gaskin is the local ‘lord of the manor’ who thinks he ‘owns’ the village whereas octogenarians Angela and Sadie appear to be the local busybodies who seem to be under the impression that they own the village. Meanwhile three recently graduated students are attempting to find the hidden treasure that legend claims was deposited there by a panicked highwayman as he fled the authorities.
Much like the story overall the Vurosis isn’t that original in that it bears quite a few similarities to Krynoids or the Weed Creature from ‘Fury From the Deep’. It isn’t that easy though to instil vegetable based monsters with character so utilising the same techniques to get around this is expected. It isn’t a particularly memorable alien but it serves its purpose more than adequately.
The novel would probably be a bit more effective if there was more of a scare factor instilled in it. They nature of the story certainly lends itself to being more eerie and atmospheric than it is but it is written more with a tendency to being amusing.
Even though it isn’t the most original story and, at times, seems a tad formulaic, it does what it does quite successfully and it is a fairly entertaining story.