As you might spot from the title, Mel-evolent is a Mel Short Trips story, and balancing her current tenure in the TARDIS this is a Sixth Doctor story. It’s a lovely piece of prose and Bonnie Langford delivers a great performance (under the watchful ear [!!] of director Helen Goldwyn), writer Simon A Forward delivers a memorable story and the whole piece is very satisfying. All credit to producer Ian Atkins.
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As the synopsis tells us:
Mirror mirror on the wall, something stalks the TARDIS halls…
A glimpsed reflection in a dark and dusty corner leads Mel on a journey Through The Looking Glass.
Witchcraft and shadows reign.
Mel must face the evil at the heart of it all, while the Doctor battles to save a TARDIS determined to prove it’s not only bigger on the inside, but darker. Much darker.
The first impressions (after a sentence or two) is of great prose and confident reading. As the story unfolds, it seems to be a curious fantasy with much to be wary of in the shadows. In fact it’s more than that; as Mel explores an evil realm, we learn something more subtle is happening and the story is more complex than it first appears, though not so much as to divert the listener from their enjoyment.
It’s a good character piece for Mel. She’s curious but not overconfident, trusting and afraid, and as the mystery unfolds, Bonnie gives us a glimpse of the Mel we never saw on TV. It’s been a long time since Big Finish paired Mel with Sixie, and this story makes us keen for more. At just over forty minutes it’s a good listen, much recommended.