Review: Iris Wildthyme - Series 4 / Author: Cavan Scott, Mark Wright, David Bryher / Publisher: Big Finish / Starring: Katy Manning, David Benson, David Ames, Ayesha Antoine, Bernard Holley, Sophie Aldred, Simon Fisher-Becker / Release Date: Out Now
For those who don’t know, Iris Wildthyme is the sort of Time Lord that your mother warned you about when you left home. Technically from a dimension set at a strange angle to that of Doctor Who, she wanders the multiverse in her TARDIS (shaped like a London bus) with her companion Panda (who is a talking toy Panda). Originally created by Paul Magrs, this incarnation is looked after by Big Finish Productions and played by Katy Manning.
The latest set of three stories starts with Iris and Panda suffering from having their dreams fulfilled in Whatever Happened to Iris Wildthyme? by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. Iris wanders history in a sequence of alcohol fuelled debauches while Panda is now a famous actor/writer/raconteur living on his pleasure island. Pursued by Time Shades the two heroes eventually come together to defeat their captors and escape in Iris’ beloved bus.
The second story, Iris at the Oche by Mark Wright sees our heroes visit a darts tournament held at Pondside. Here the Hankians (bovine alien megalomaniacs) are trying to change time by finding the hero with the golden arrows – Ted Taylor! Much punning involving Bullseye and Star Wars takes place as the story milks the situation for everything it can whilst also explaining retro-causation paradoxes.
The final story is A Lift in Time by David Bryther and tells what happens when Iris battles with a mad lift intent on brainwashing the whole of history with muzak. The story bears more than a resemblance to Douglas Adams which is no bad thing. All nearly ends well except for the theft of Iris’s TARDIS and the irreparable damage to the timeline her interference causes.
Overall a fun trilogy that may be more accessible by existing fans used to the madcap ways of Iris, her affinity for partying and the on-going deconstruction of the mythos. At times the stories seem slightly dragged out with longer endings than needed but if this is your kind of entertainment it rates a solid: