‘The Carrionite Curse’ (Audio)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

Carronites with the Sixth Doctor

This ‘Doctor Who’ episode has Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor battling against Carronites in the 1980s. This episode is by Simon Guerrier and it’s an intriguing take on the word-powered witch-like villains.

The Carronites are an intriguing set of ‘Doctor Who’ monsters as seen in ‘The Shakespeare Code’ with David Tennant. I must admit, I’m not keen on them as they were quite average in their TV story.

But having listened to this audio adventure with Colin Baker’s Doctor, they have some interesting dimension to them. It’s also invigorating how Colin Baker’s Doctor seems to meet them for the first time.

In the story, the Doctor visits the Midlands where a buskers’ fair takes place in the 1980s. There’s also a witch trial and a bonfire taking place. The Doctor is horrified as he does not believe in witches.

But it seems these three witch characters he comes across are very witch-like in manner and appearance. The Doctor, with the help of his new friends, has to solve the mystery of these witches.

I like how Simon Guerrier makes use of the Sixth Doctor’s strengths as a character, especially in terms of his word usage. The Sixth Doctor is well-known using expressive wordplay in certain stories.

The cast of ‘The Carrionite Curse’. From left to right: Andrée Bernard, Colin Baker, Michael Fenton Stevens, Maya Sondhi and Adèle Anderson.

I could tell Colin Baker was really into his character by this point in the series. I’m not sure what point he’s at, but he’s clearly mellowed and is not as brash as you would expect him to in early tales.

I enjoyed that first scene in the episode with Colin’s Doctor where he was entertaining the kids with his water balloon juggling act. I wish we could’ve seen more of that stuff on TV with Colin’s Doctor. 🙂

It makes everyone think of him as a clown of course, but once he gets into the mystery solving, he’s dead serious. I like how the Doctor’s frustration of working things out comes to the fore in this story.

No companion is with Colin’s Doctor of course, but he gets a one-off companion in Maya Sondhi as Katy Bell. Katy has returned to her Midlands home to find strange happenings at the buskers’ fair. 😐

Katy takes a liking to Colin’s Doctor and seems willing to go off on adventures with him in the TARDIS after all this is over. It’s a shame Katy gets infected with some certain words involving the witches. 😦

I like how the episode connects to certain events in ‘The Shakespeare Code’ such as the Globe Theatre where things seem to be in a paradox. It seems this echo of the Doctor’s future is in his past.

I also liked the reference made to a book by Professor Litefoot, which can be of some essential use to the Doctor and his friends in defeating the witches. I think a ‘Harry Potter’ book is in this tale too.

Adèle Anderson, Andrée Bernard and Maya Sondhi in ‘The Carrionite Curse’.

The special guest stars for this episode include Andrée Bernard as Mary Sissinghurst, who ends up being the leader of the Carronites. Andrée’s done a fair number of Big Finish stories over the years. 🙂

She’s also played Angie in Series 1 of ‘The Brittas Empire’. Mary starts off being a timid person before she ends up cackling like a witch in the story. She does really malicious and hungry in the tale.

Mary the Carronite is joined by two more Carronites whom she claims as her mothers. They’re voiced by Adèle Anderson and Maya Sondhi. I imagine them to be older than Mary in the episode. 😐

Adèle Anderson also plays Eileen Nelthorpe, who’s the head of the local council in Katy Bell’s Midland home. She accused Mary Sissinghurst for being a witch and ordered her burning at the fete.

She eventually assists the Doctor, Mary and Rev Douglas Bell when they team up to tackle the Carronites. Eileen is a sceptical person and sadly has a tragic end in touching a book from the future.

There’s also Michael Fenton Stevens as Rev Douglas Bell, Katy’s father. Michael has done ‘Doctor Who’ before via Big Finish and he has played…William Shakespeare in ‘The Kingmaker’. Coincidence?

Douglas Bell keeps the books that the Doctor needs in order to defeat the Carrionites. It’s saddening when Katy sacrifices herself to save her father. Douglas doesn’t blame the Doctor over Katy’s death.

Michael Fenton Stevens in ‘The Carrionite Curse’.

‘The Carrionite Curse’ has been an enjoyable audio episode with Colin Baker’s Doctor. I’m not really a fan of the Carrionites as monsters, but it was interesting to hear this new angle by Simon Guerrier.

‘The Carrionite Curse’ rating – 7/10

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2 thoughts on “‘The Carrionite Curse’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    I agree with you about the Carrionites, They’re not the strongest of enemies for the Sixth Doctor to go up against, at least writer Simon Guerrier fleshes out the Carrionites backstory & Colin Baker as always delivers a brilliant performance as the Doctor.

    Nice touches like the Doctor’s water balloon juggling act it gives this incarnation more likeability as these moments never featured during the Sixth Doctor era on Tv, it allows the character adding more heart & warmth to the Sixth Doctor.

    7/10 fair score Tim, a decent audio drama which may fared better with a stronger advisory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Yeah, the Carrionites are an odd bunch of ‘Doctor Who’ monsters to feature in the second ‘Classic Doctors, New Monsters’ box set and one I wouldn’t choose. But at least Simon Guerrier has a good go writing for them and he does fairly well to have Colin Baker’s Doctor up against them.

      I always like those additional moments in the Sixth Doctor’s character like the water balloon juggling act to make him more likeable in the Big Finish audios compared to the TV series. I’m glad Big Finish can find ways to do that in making the Sixth Doctor more likeable.

      Many thanks for your comments and glad you approve of my rating for this story in the review.

      Tim. 🙂



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