‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ (ST/Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Agatha Christie Meets Beatrix Potter With Nyssa, Tegan and the Fifth Doctor

This story is by Simon A. Forward and is read by Sarah Sutton. It features Nyssa, Tegan and the Fifth Doctor.

‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ has been a delightful and enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ story in the Short Trips audio range by Big Finish! The highlight of this story is of course Sarah Sutton who narrates and performs this story. Sarah Sutton’s Nyssa is my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion and she excels here.

I’ve had the cover of ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ signed by Sarah Sutton at the ‘Science of the Time Lords 2019’ event at the National Space Centre, Leicester, January 2019. I told Sarah that I was currently watching Series 4 of ‘Grantchester’ at the time and she was delighted as she likes ‘Grantchester’ too. 😀

I’ve heard Sarah narrate and perform many ‘Doctor Who’ audios over the years. She’s especially good in the Short Trips audio range, as she gets a chance to deliver a variety of voices for characters as well as performing her standard character of Nyssa. I’m certain this tale was a delight for Sarah to perform.

For you see, ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ has a mixture of Agatha Christie and Beatrix Potter in it. The Agatha Christie part of the tale is where Nyssa and Tegan get to solve a murder mystery at an English village. Sarah Sutton has claimed to love watching Agatha Christie murder mysteries on TV quite lately.

The Beatrix Potter element to the tale is where Nyssa and Tegan are dealing with a village populated by…talking animals. I don’t know why I’m not surprised anymore. 😀 From hearing this tale, you’d think the idea of an English village filled with talking animals in Beatrix Potter style is absurd and nonsensical.

But for me, hearing this tale was welcome and quite relaxing to listen to. I couldn’t help enjoy and be fascinated by how Nyssa and Tegan were able to take the talking animals seriously, especially with them wearing country-styled clothes and having cups of tea; cakes and sandwiches inside a little cottage.

I later discovered that the talking woodland animals of Mistpuddle were created by Lindsay Wood, both as fictional characters in her books and in the real world with the use of bio-engineering. I don’t know how ridiculous that sounds, but despite that it sounds wonderful and is impossible not to love.

Sarah Sutton in ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’.

Had this been a full-cast four-part story by Big Finish, I’m sure Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison and Janet Fielding would’ve have relished the challenges and fun of making this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. In fact, why wasn’t this a full-cast four-part adventure by Big Finish? It would’ve been fun to listen to it in that form.

Again, this story allows Sarah to play a variety of characters as well as playing Nyssa, who gets to gather all the animal characters in the story and reveal who the murderer is, just like how a traditional Agatha Christie in ‘Poriot’ and ‘Miss Marple’ would end. Nyssa gets to be a scientist as well as a sleuth here.

Sarah’s voice for Tegan is an absolute delight in this audio story. I liked it when Sarah gets to play Tegan narrating some of her side of the story for a bit. Beforehand, Nyssa had been doing most of the monologue. But hearing Sarah as Tegan share things from her perspective was very delightful to hear.

I like how the world is set up in ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’, especially with the woodland animal characters based on the children’s works by Lindsay Wood. There are characters like Colonel Fortingbrush who is a fox; Professor Pricklethwart who is a hedgehog and Miss Nightheart who is a bat.

There are also characters like Miss Nutkins who is a squirrel and Ginger who is a rabbit. I loved it when Sarah provided a Scottish accent for the badger character of Reverend Brockleigh. In fact, Sarah provides wonderful numerous voices for the animal characters as they sound quintessentially English.

And if you’re wondering where the Doctor comes into all of this during the story…well, he comes in rather late before the end. Yeah, for the most part, Nyssa and Tegan are at the forefront of the tale. But I didn’t mind that, as it was wonderful to hear Nyssa and Tegan take the centre stage in this adventure.

And when the Doctor does turn up, he enters triumphantly after being thawed out from being inside a fridge. He comes in to identify the murderer and Sarah’s voice for Peter Davison’s Doctor is wonderful as it is for Janet Fielding’s Tegan. It’d be interesting to find out what he’s been doing whilst absent for most of this adventure. 😀

Sarah Sutton in ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’.

‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ has been a wonderful little adventure in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe with Sarah Sutton being wonderful in her narration and performance as Nyssa and other characters. Hearing this little audio adventure made me want to hear it again after being really engrossed into it.

In fact, I believe ‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ is a story that requires more than one listen. With an Agatha Christie-styled murder mystery like this in a Beatrix Potter-style of setting, you’ll need to hear it more than once in order to get over some of the complexities of the murder mystery. Otherwise, it’s very entertaining!

‘The Mistpuddle Murders’ rating – 9/10

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