RETRO REVIEW: “Thicker Than Water”

In our next Retro Review, we rejoin the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn… but things have changed between the two. This review will contain spoilers, so read on at your own risk!

Set after Evelyn’s departure from the TARDIS, this story is a sequel to “Arrangements for War”, taking place during the Doctor’s travels with Mel (Bonnie Langford). After remarking upon how brash he was in the early days of his sixth incarnation, the Doctor decides to take his companion to visit Vilàg, where it’s revealed Evelyn decided to stay behind during an unseen adventure.

Now married to Gabriel Woolfe’s Rossiter, Evelyn finds herself in a bit of a conundrum. Plagued by terrible headaches and hated by Sophia, her husband’s daughter (played by Rachel Pickup), Evelyn’s going through a bit of a rough patch, which makes it perfect timing for the Doctor and Mel to turn up.

Surprisingly, the Doctor and Evelyn are barely reunited for a moment when they are separated. Evelyn and Mel find themselves kidnapped by terrorists led by Simon Watts‘s Sebastian Lawrence, while the Doctor and Rossiter set about getting them back. It was nice to hear these slightly different pairings, though I think I would have preferred for the Doctor and Evelyn to have a little more time together. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Mel and Evelyn’s interactions. As two of my favourite companions, it was so lovely to hear them meet here.

The plot is rather thin, but has some good twists, such as the torturing of the Killorans and Evelyn’s infection with their DNA. Overall, I’d say that it’s the character moments of this release that elevate it, rather than the storyline.

What I did like was the surprise appearance of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor in part four. Coming to visit Evelyn during a time of strife, he lets her know that he’s now travelling with Hex, the son of poor Cassie from “Project: Twilight” and “Project: Lazarus”, which lends a nice bit of closure to the Evelyn arc so far.

The story ends on a bittersweet note, with Evelyn renewing her vows with Rossiter (and the Doctor walking her down the aisle!), but ultimately choosing to remain on Vilàg. And so Evelyn’s time with the Doctor truly comes to an end…

Final Thoughts

Paul Sutton once again writes a heartfelt and emotional story that really brings the dynamic between the Doctor and his companion(s) to life. Another good adventure for the Sixth Doctor.

7/10

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