The Lady of Mercia (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 May 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a good historical Doctor Who story - the only thing I found that really jarred was Aelfwynn insisting on throwing herself into battle every opportunity; surely an astute political warrior of the time would have known when to preserve herself from lost opportunities to ensure her bloodline and rule could continue. That did jar on my senses, but that's the historian in me complaining, not the Doctor Who fan.
The characters were all really well portrayed - from the 1983 University crowd, to the ancient Mercian kingdom and its battles against the Danes. Aethelfrid herself was as portrayed in this story rather a tragic figure and her brother Wessex altogether nasty. But political circumstances of the time did rather dictate the fates of many of those who sought to rule, and what we cannot know for sure at this historical distance was portrayed empathetically and well. Definitely recommended.
This is the eleventh audio to feature this particular line up. Although there has been a story arc running through them, that isn't touched on very often, and doesn't feature at all in this release. Thus casual listeners will be able to get into it without any problems.
It's a four part story, complete on two cd's. The episodes run from twenty five to thirty minutes in length. [Approx].
It touches on a real, and somewhat overlooked bit, of English history. Aethelfrid. Daughter of Alfred the Great. Queen of the kingdom of Mercia, she lived just over a thousand years ago. And fought battles against the Danes.
The TARDIS, though, arrives in 1983. At the university of Frodsham. Where students are protesting against funding cuts. A conference about Aethelfrid is taking place. And someone in the physics department has seemingly made a major breakthrough.
Which has attracted the Doctor's attention.
History is about to be made. In two different time periods.
This is one of those Doctor Who stories that features no science fiction other than the concept of time travel, and no aliens other than the non human members of the TARDIS crew. It's not quite one of those purely historical tales, though.
The first episode does feel at times like a bbc drama from the 1980's. The period feels accurately re-created and the characters do have a good depth to them. There's a fun amount of humour as Tegan and Turlough have to get involved, forcing the former to think on her feet and the latter to be wonderfully dry and sarcastic.Read more ›
This is the second of three adventures in a row to feature this particular TARDIS crew, where 5, Tegan and Turlough have teamed up with an older Nyssa (following her departure in Terminus and reappearance 50 years later in her time line in Cobwebs) who now looks like a teen again following a rejuvniation in the superb ‘Emerald Tiger’. Not that you need to know any of this, as the producers/writers seem to have totally forgotten about Nyssa and her mission to cure Richter’s disease for several releases in a row now, and this release is no exception.
With the first two trilogies for this crew (Cobwebs, Whispering Forest, Cradle of the Snake, Heroes Of Sontar, Kiss Of Death and Rat Trap) I was distinctly underwhelmed, and was as bored with writing negative reviews as I was with the stories themselves. I felt that it was time to drop this combination, but then the last trilogy (The Emerald Tiger, The Jupiter Conjunction and The Butcher Of Brisbane) came along and I was blown away, especially by Emerald Tiger. It showed that this was actually a TARDIS crew that could work, and with characters that could create some real dramatic tension.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The TARDIS arrives on Earth in 1983; specifically, at the University of Frodsham. An academic conference on Queen Aethelfrid (the "Lady of Mercia"), experiments on time-travel and the love lives of unfaithful academics collide, resulting in characters being sent 1000 years into past - and 1000 years into the future.
A fairly silly premise has a fairly silly result. If the guest characters - Professor Bleak, his wife Dr Stone, Queen Aethelfrid and the appalling Princess Aelfwynn - had some redeeming features and the medieval scenes had not been full of anachronisms, this might have come off better. As it was, it was hard to care what happened to these people. The regular cast fare better. Tegan has a strong role, first as a a pretend academic and then as a pretend princess, and is at her most appealing. Turlough has some nice snide commentary, but does very little. Nyssa has little involvement in anything, while the Doctor scurries around trying to help people for the greater good, as you would expect.
I wasn't overly pleased with this one, but you may like it much better. Certainly there was nothing to complain about in the production. Middling for the series.