Fourth Doctor: The Wrath of Iceni

the wrath of iceniWriter: John Dorney

Director: Ken Bentley

Companion: Leela (Louise Jameson)

Running Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes (includes interviews)

Summary: The Doctor takes Leela to ancient Norfolk to learn about her ancestors. Leela meets the tribe of Iceni and is enthralled by its leader, the legendary Boudica. Will she be swayed to join the rebellion against the Roman Empire?

Review: Early in Hartnell’s era, Doctor Who had episodes that fans dubbed “pure historicals”. These stories were designed to be educational; although they were set in the past, they had few sci-fi elements, with the exception of the TARDIS. They were slowly phased out however, because the writers realized their more traditional sci-fi episodes were more popular. By the Troughton era, only one historical was made, “The Highlanders”. They were not made again until the Davison era episode “Black Orchid”, which ended the practice. Big Finish has revived the concept, starting with their Sixth Doctor story “The Marian Conspiracy.” This is another one of those stories.

Big Finish’s treatment of Leela is miles better than her TV counterpart. Her love of battle becomes a liability here because it may change the course of history. Louise Jameson puts on a stellar performance. Really my only gripe is that the story is only two parts long.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The Doctor refers to their trip to the Morovian Museum in “The Resurrection Man”. Leela tells Boudica that history cannot be changed, which she learned in “The Foe From the Future”. The Doctor has tried to save lives during fixed events before in stories such as “The Fires of Pompeii” and “The Waters of Mars”. The Fourth Doctor later travelled to early Britain in “Ferrill’s Folly.” The Eighth Doctor also travelled to early Britain in “Seasons of Fear”. Iris Wildthyme has claimed that she was present at the Siege of Colchester in “The Elixir of Doom”.

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