‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on the review.

The Fourth Doctor and Ann meet Ada Lovelace

So yeah! Apparently, the Doctor met Ada Lovelace before meeting her in ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’. It’s just as well I’m hearing this audio adventure after watching that episode to appreciate who Ada is. 🙂

‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ is the third story in ‘The Syndicate Master Plan’ season. Unlike ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’, this story has Ada as the central focus when the Fourth Doctor and Ann meet her. 🙂

It’s fascinating the Fourth Doctor met Ada before the Thirteenth Doctor met her. And interesting the Thirteenth Doctor never brought it up in ‘Spyfall’. Perhaps Chris Chibnall didn’t hear this audio story.

Then again, ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ takes place at a later point in Ada’s life when the Fourth Doctor meets her. In ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’, the Thirteenth Doctor meets Ada when she’s younger. 🙂

I’m thankful ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’ didn’t end up like ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ with Mary Shelley. At least the ‘Doctor Who’ continuity is preserved regarding Ada’s meetings with the Doctor. 😀

This story is by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris. I’ve encountered these writers a number of times. They wrote ‘Aquitaine’, ‘Judoon in Chains’ and an episode of ‘The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure’.

It’s interesting how they tackled the Fourth Doctor’s meeting with Ada Lovelace and it’s very good as far as I’m concerned. The story is complex when we get to ‘Part Two’, but I found it pretty enjoyable.

And yes, this is a two-part adventure. I know this is before Big Finish did four-part stories in Series 9 of ‘The Fourth Doctor Adventures’, but I think making this story a four-parter would have been better.

Ada Lovelace is played by Flinty Williams in this audio adventure. Mind you, I couldn’t help visualise Sylvie Briggs in that role when hearing her, especially as she sounds not dissimilar to Flinty Williams.

I’ve not come across Flinty Williams before, but she happens to be the daughter of Dame Judi Dench. She’s also appeared in ‘The Demon of Paris’ – one of the ‘Demon Quest’ audio adventures. 🙂

In the story, the Doctor and Ann visit Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, 1850. Mistaken for a medic and his maid, the Doctor and Ann are brought to attend to Ada Lovelace since she’s become ill. 😐

In case you weren’t aware, Ada Lovelace happens to be the mother of computing and she’s the daughter of Lord Byron. I became more aware of this whilst hearing ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’. 🙂

I know these facts were mentioned in ‘Spyfall’ and ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, but they were briefly touched upon. I wonder if many knew of Ada from hearing the audio whilst seeing the TV story.

As it turns out in this audio story, especially when we get to ‘Part Two’, the Doctor and Ann haven’t arrived by chance. Something pretty odd is happening on Earth and they’re determined to solve it. 🙂

It was interesting how the story developed and how strange figures in bird-like masks were affecting the course of Earth’s history and were interested in Ada. Things get removed from Earth’s past here.

They include Charles Wheatstone, Wheatstone’s residence at 168 Bleak Lane, the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Albemarle Street off Piccadilly and the whole of Bloomsbury here.

It’s also interesting how it’s established that the Block Transfer Wars take place in the year 7073. Block Transfer Computation is also mentioned, which is unusual to hear in a period tale such as this.

Tom Baker and Jane Slavin continue to be excellent as the Fourth Doctor and Ann Kelso. They clearly get on well with each other and seem to like each other, according to the CD interviews they have. 🙂

The story also features Andrew Havill (who was in ‘Voyage of the Damned’ with David Tennant) as Colonel Wildman, and Eve Webster who plays two characters in this tale – Hettie and Lady Cleverley.

There’s also Barnaby Edwards as Mr. Hobhouse, and there’s Glen McCready who plays Edvard Scheutz, the ghost of Lord Byron, and Harry. It was fascinating how these characters became involved in the tale.

Tom Baker and Jane Slavin in ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’.

‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ has been a good audio adventure to listen to. It did get complex by the time we reached ‘Part Two‘ and its ending, but I had a very good time listening to this audio tale.

The CD extras are as follows. After ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’, there’s a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The False Guardian’ with Tom Baker, Jane Slavin and John Leeson. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, including Tom Baker and Jane Slavin, Flinty Williams, co-writer Simon Barnard, co-writer Paul Morris, etc.

‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ rating – 8/10

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2 thoughts on “‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    I was a bit uncertain were this was going to begin with but it turned into a entertaining audio drama although i benefited from a second listen to fully understand the story’s complexities, Tom & Jane share a warm chemistry as the Doctor & Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the story. Yeah I think a second listen to the story does help, but I still enjoyed it on the first listen.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂



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