Doctor Who: The Wormery - Review

Every now and again there is one woman that the Doctor will run into. She is mysterious, glamerous and prone to throwing herself into the thick of any adventure. She knows more about Time Lord technology than she should and she keeps telling the Doctor that one day, the pair will be quite the item.

This woman is Iris Wildthyme.

Barmaid Mickey only met Iris once and long, long time ago, between the First and Second World Wars. Back then Mickey was young, naive and was paying her way by working as a waitress at Bianca's - a club where dark and shadowy go to unwind at the end of a trying day, sipping cocktails - and they all get to listen to Bianca singing.

But those are days that have been gone for years and everyone else has gone with them. Everyone has forgotten them except for Mickey who kept tapes and audio recordings of the goings on at Bianca's hoping to use them for blackmail. Even now, most of those tapes are worn and the few that have survived Mickey is playing for the mysterious Mr. Ashcroft. But she has kept them all these years for proof of what happened in the end and the only proof that a woman called Iris Wildthyme came to Bianca's singing and drinking and claiming that the more she drank, the more she heard the voices. And then there is the mysterious Doctor, who came into Bianca's and noticed that people's shadows were moving even when the drinkers weren't.

But this isn't the only mystery in The Wormery. Who is Mr. Ashcroft and why does he want those tapes after all these years?

Paul Magrs, crossed his original character of Iris Wildthyme over into the Doctor Who universe in a short story in 1998, at which point, Iris managed to gain some considerable attention. The Wormery was he first appearence in the Doctor Who monthly range at Big Finish, though she went on to feature alongside the Fifth Doctor in Excelis Dawns, Jo Grant in The Companion Chronicles, Bernice Summerfield, her own spin off range, books and other media formats.

Though she is often abrasive and drunk, Iris could have been played poorly by any other actress. But Katy Manning portrays her with charm, determination and a thick Austrailian accent. While The Wormery does play up to the silly side of things, anything featuring Iris can't help but be slapstick but there is still a certain amount of depth to be had in the proceedings and there is a nice couple of twists along the way. It is well worth a listen as it is a cracking story and a really good place to start for people who want to know more about the mysterious woman known as Iris Wildthyme...