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< 96. Valhalla
97b. The Vanity Box >

97a. The Wishing Beast

Rating Votes
10
5%
4
9
3%
3
8
17%
15
7
19%
17
6
32%
28
5
14%
12
4
10%
9
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.5
Votes
88
The Wishing Beast / The Vanity Box
6.7
Boxset Average Rating
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/29/18 5:39 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This finds the Doctor and Mel landing on a planet populated by two strange sisters who have sent a distress call and now want to give Mel a reward as a great hero of time and space, by granting her her fondest desire with the help of the Wishing Beast.

This is a solid fantasy/ghost story. While some of the parts a bit over the top, it's well-performed, featuring a solid performance from Jean Marsh as the elder sister. While it's not one of Big Finish's best, it's nevertheless an entertaining release with some solid moments throughout.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/20/17 6:49 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Hypothesis: a person's reaction to this story reveals something fundamental about what sort of "Doctor Who" fan they are.

I've always believed that a review says more about the reviewer than it does about the work being reviewed. I think that is especially true in a story like this one. Some people prefer their "Doctor Who" to be a bit closer to the hard sf end of the spectrum, while others are more comfortable with a more fanciful approach. Of course, these aren't hard distinctions, as just about every "Doctor Who" fan can enjoy different kinds of stories to a greater or lesser extent. But this story makes few concessions to the "hard sf" side of the spectrum. It is unapologetically bonkers, and has no interest in scientific respectability. It's an unabashed fairy tale featuring a pair of wicked sisters, ghosts, a wish-granting dragon, etc.

Personally, I absolutely adore this kind of "Doctor Who", although I wouldn't want it to be like this all the time. When a story is willing to commit itself to this approach (and the cast resists the temptation to send it up), the results are just delightful, and that's just what this story is.

Special recognition has to go to Geraldine Newman and (especially) Jean Marsh. They commit completely to their characters and to the story, and this gives them license, as it were, to go big with their performances. They set the tone for the whole story and hold it all together.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 2/15/16 9:32 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'The Wishing Beast', written by Paul Magrs and directed John Ainsworth, is a dark, chilling fairy tale with witches, wraiths, and The Wishing Beast. The tone veers a little to the camp side of things with hoovers that suck up souls and spirits.

The musical score is fine but unimaginative and the script is sufficiently spooky. I wish Bonnie Langford (and Nicola Bryant for that matter) featured more in the Big Finish Main range, as both were criminally short-changed in the eighties and both have since redeemed themselves through the medium of audio. Jean marsh and Geraldine Newman are effective as the witch sisters and Colin is as consummate as ever. I also found the backstory quite interesting.

Overall, the various elements just don't quite gel together as they should and I think this is largely down to the directing. I am not sure John Ainsworth entirely gets how to bring a Doctor Who story to life, but also, I am not quite sure to make of the tone of this and that is partly down to Paul Magrs. There is no doubt that Paul is a talented writer but hoovering up ghosts without a more obvious comedy tone just seems odd. Is this down to the writer or did the director lose something in his translation of the script? Maybe I am being too critical, though, as this certainly wasn't bad.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 12/14/14 8:30 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This felt like an half an hour drama, Mr Magrs is a talented writer that is a given and he ticks all the right boxes with this outing of the 6th Doctor. Colin is teemed up with of all companions Bonnie, and I cannot recall the last outing with these two but it works very well. Other highlights in this release are the wonderful tones of Jean Marsh, you instantly get her, and the visualisation of her character. She shows a strong presence, for me, listening to this near to Christmas, there is a certain pantomime quality the emits from the release. Two ugly sisters, a wishing monster, and Doctor Who playing the part of buttons (for this reference to work for non UK people check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantomime).

It is not hard to listen to, and it gently moves along with the listener getting involved in the story. Great little gem here, don't know why it has a low mark.