Top positive review
AN AWESOMELY PLUCKY HEROINE
on 19 February 2012
Two ninety minute Victorian melodramas set amongst much murkiness. "The Ruby in the Smoke" has young Sally doggedly investigating her father's death, the search to involve opium and a priceless jewel. Mrs Holland ("I will cut off her head and dance on it!") leads the villains that pursue. Meanwhile corpses mount. "The Shadow in the North" concerns an apparent insurance scam and a weapon of mass destruction. Both adventures are atmospheric and enjoyable. Be advised close attention is needed, for aspects confuse a bit.
Disc 1 contains a twenty minute bonus where author Philip Pullman disarmingly discusses his craft. Great is his praise for both Billie Piper's Sally and Julie Walters, the latter's Mrs Holland exactly as he imagined her.
Already a good buy, there is now the extra attraction of the double "Doctor Who" link - one of the Doctor's most popular former companions here starring with future Doctor Matt Smith. Who would have thought!