The Elixir of Doom is a Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish Productions and is an episode from the range known as The Companion Chronicles. Paul Magrs finally wrote the script that brings Jo Grant and Iris Wildthyme together. Lisa Bowerman returns to the director’s seat. Magrs created Iris many moons ago for the novel range. Katy Manning has long been employed by Big Finish reprising her role of Jo Grant and inventing the voice of the trans-temporal adventuress. Derek Fowlds lends his vocal talent as the guest actor.
Instead of traveling with the Doctor, Jo has found herself inside the double decker bus with Iris Wildthyme having adventures through time and space. This episode finds them landing in 1930’s Hollywood where the movie monsters of the day seem to be too suspiciously real and under the control of a matinee diva.
I don’t want to give too much away, but an unexpected Doctor appears to lend a hand as well, but he is a much different version than the one most familiar to Jo.
This was just a fun romp, but it really shows how talented Manning can be as a character actress and narrator. The post production editing is likely largely responsible for this, but Manning just shifts from Jo to Iris so easily. The story isn’t terribly deep, but it doesn’t need to be here. Magrs has long been involved with Big Finish periodically following his contributions to the novel range. This is probably one of his sillier plot lines, but the performances really work here. Particularly, Manning’s talent gets a well-deserved showcase of her vocal ability.
It probably is a fairly obvious gimmick to have Jo and Iris finally meet, but it works here, and it seems just right to have Magrs be the one to tell the story.