Big Finish Who Review: The Widow’s Assassin
Reviewed by Jeffrey Zyra
Ever wonder what happened to Peri after Trial of a Time Lord? Ever wonder how her life was once Yrcanos took her back to Krontep to be his queen? Ever wonder what her feelings would be towards The Doctor once he returned to get her? Well Big Finish has given us the answers and more in The Widow’s Assassin. This new range release is the first in the mini trilogy for the Sixth Doctor as we find him making an attempt to return to Peri and apologize for what happened to her at the end of their ordeal with Krozier and Kiv. But The Doctor did not get the welcome he thought he would get and could you blame Peri for the icy reception. Well no you couldn’t especially after who she was stuck with all these years and now her husband is dead and a killer on the loose with her own life at stake. Guess The Doctor got there in time to help save Peri whether she wants his help or not but he’ll have to figure out how to help from the jail cell Peri placed him in.
The Widow’s Assassin was not what I was expecting at all. For the most part the main story was really good. I was enjoying the murder mystery of who poisoned Yrcanos and then Peri but I was sort of disappointed with the way it all came together and who actually inhabited Peri’s brain. What I was expecting was a Peri that would be very upset with The Doctor and very reluctant to want to see him again let alone have to accept his help with the current crisis. In fact I would have expected more hateful comments from Peri. What I also did not expect was the way the ending resolved everything. Apparently Mandrake was able to take over Peri’s brain somewhere during the ending of Mindwarp and was the one responsible for killing Yrcanos and for poisoning Peri just so he could take over The Doctor’s body. No not what I expected as I was expecting a story in which The Doctor has to save Peri again and to gain her trust in him again that would allow her to go back into the TARDIS again. Not having Peri being Mandrake for all that time and having Peri’s consciousness being buried away the whole time.
With that being said I did find The Widow’s Assassin to be entertaining and I did enjoy the story that was made by Big Finish. It was pretty clever and did have some good moments but the whole Mandrake stuff was just not doing it for me as I found that it complicated things way too much. I did like the explanation for The Doctor knowing what was going to happen as there were three aspects of The Sixth Doctor running around. I did like the murder mystery part and the part of trying to figure out who poisoned Peri. I just wasn’t too taken with the ending and solution to this story which I believe I have harped on too much already. The performances by Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant were top notch and Nicola Bryant was able to expand on her performance and give us a different much older Peri than the one we are used too. Plus she also gets to break out the evil Peri voice again. In all, The Widow’s Assassin wasn’t what I was expecting but it was a decent story none the less just let down by a complicated ending.
Grade C +