Sixth Doctor: The Marian Conspiracy


Writer: Jacqueline Rayner

Director & Producer: Gary Russell

Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Companion: Evelyn Smythe (Maggie Stables)

Summary: The Sixth Doctor meets Dr. Evelyn Smythe, a professor who is constantly disappearing from time. He takes her to the time of Queen Mary to discover why. Intrigued by the possibility of time travel, Smythe becomes his new companion, despite the Doctor’s initial reluctance.

Review: This is the first Big Finish story to feature Dr. Evelyn Smythe, who is an original character who has never appeared on TV. She was part of their efforts to make Colin Baker’s Doctor more likeable. This story harkens back to an experiment that was tried during Hartnell’s era of the show, but eventually discarded: Telling stories that take place within the pages of history, but contain very little science fiction elements. These are often called “historicals” by Whovians. Dr. Smythe is an enjoyable companion. What I like best about her is that she will not stand for the Doctor’s arrogance and often puts him in his place. Her idealistic wonder at being able to experience history first hand makes her a great companion, and I’m eager to hear more stories featuring her.

Overall Review: 9/10

Continuity: The story makes reference to the Great Fire of London, which the Fifth Doctor caused in “The Visitation”. The Doctor suggests going to meet Charles Darwin, which he and Smythe eventually do in the audio drama “Bloodtide”. The Doctor has visited the Tower of London twice with Peri Brown, in the audio dramas “Point of Entry” and “Recorded Time”. Evelyn Smythe speaks highly of Queen Elizabeth, who the Tenth Doctor married in “The Day of the Doctor”. Dr. Smythe’s final adventure with the Sixth Doctor is “A Death in the Family”.

Trivia: Maggie Stables, who played Evelyn Smythe for Big Finish, died on September 26, 2014


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