Book Review – Doctor Who: Ferril’s Folly

  • Title: Ferril’s Folly
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Author: Peter Anghelides
  • Director: Lisa Bowerman
  • Characters: Romana I, Fourth Doctor, Lady Millicent Ferril
  • Cast: Mary Tamm, Madeleine Potter
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 04/05/2018

Ferril’s Folly is a volume in Big Finish’s The Companion Chronicles series. The story is told as a two-hander by Romana, as played by Mary Tamm on Doctor Who during Tom Baker’s era as the Doctor, and the villain, “Metal Millie” played by Madeleine Potter. The Doctor and Romana land on the outer deck of a Folly, a British architectural feature – normally a purely decorative tower or object built on a lawn as a conversation piece. This folly, though is an observatory which features an advanced telescope. As soon as Romana joins the Doctor outside of the TARDIS, the TARDIS loses its precarious balance on the edge and falls to the lawn below. The Doctor and Romana meet a scientist inside the Folly’s observatory and his boss, Millicent Ferril – a former astronaut who was in a crash between her shuttle and a meteoroid. Everyone else died in the crash, and Millie required extensive reconstructive surgery, resulting in metal hands and other metal replacement joints. After losing her career, she traveled the world, then met and married Lord Ferril in England.

The Doctor and Romana soon discover Millie is under the influence of the Cronquist – an alien species that can control metal, especially iron. Controlled by the Cronquist, who controlled the meteoroid, Millie decides to help them invade Earth. Romana and the Doctor stop her. In the end, they disperse the Fourth Segment of the Key to Time (the meteoroid), to find it again later (in the aired story, “The Androids of Tara”). Millie, who had already killed her pet scientist, is killed in a fire that destroys the Folly.

“Ferril’s Folly” is a deceptively simple story. It’s basically an action piece without much depth. But it is nevertheless a fun listen. It isn’t often that the two-handers feature two women: a heroine and a villain. Also, the story at times overlaps – showing the same event from Millie’s point-of-view and from Romana’s. It’s a good story and worth a listen. The CD includes a trailer and an interview.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website: www.bigfinish.com.

Click this link to order Ferril’s Folly on CD or Download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!

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Book Review – Doctor Who: The Stealers from Saiph

  • Title: The Stealers from Saiph
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Author: Nigel Robinson
  • Director: Lisa Bowerman
  • Characters: Romana I, Fourth Doctor
  • Cast: Mary Tamm
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 12/22/2016

Doctor Who the Stealers from Saiph is part of Big Finish’s Companion Chronicles series – so it is read/performed by Mary Tamm, and unusually it is not a two-hander, only Mary performs it. However, this isn’t a negative – she, as Romana, does a wonderful job and the story is told entirely from Romana’s point of view. Also, this story has no framing story (so it runs a bit short). But without a secondary cast member to tell the story to – it’s all Romana I – and I enjoyed that.

The story starts off as a Agatha Christie-style story with Romana and the Fourth Doctor (as played by Tom Baker), staying in a luxury hotel on the French Riveria in 1929. The other guests are wealthy holiday-goers. Soon it becomes apparent there’s a thief at work in the hotel, and some sort of mysterious goings on regarding one of the guests. And then there’s the inevitable murder.

But the second half of the story makes a sharp left and resembles an H.P. Lovecraft story. And that sharp change moves this story from being fun, light, and typical, to an interesting, unusual, and unique Doctor Who story both in tone and substance.

I enjoyed the story very much and I recommend it. Don’t let the first part put you off, though I enjoyed the 1920s historical glamour. The second half makes this a fun listen.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website: www.bigfinish.com

Click this link to order The Stealers from Saiph on CD or Download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!