, , , , , ,


“She was obsessed with the Three Sisters…some discovery she’d made, something she’d read.”
“Read where?  Chekov?”

A 10th century convent is converted into a womens’ college.  But a few aging nuns remain on hand.  A mere practicality of commerce?  Or does St. Matilda’s bear a far more sinister secret…one its nuns are on hand to guard against?

While The Doctor and newly hired Dean Emily Shaw (Rowena Cooper) search for hints in the college’s extensive library, Leela and student Megan (Claudia Grant) discover the terrifying truth in the chapel, during a forbidden nighttime jaunt thereto…

“If there’s one thing I hate, it’s people talking in libraries.  There you are, trying to concentrate, and some idiot’s waffling away about nothing in particular.”
“Like you are now?”
“Oh, yes, but that’s quite different.  I’m endlessly fascinating.”

A properly creepy and somewhat gothicized affair involving ostensible ghosts, interstellar entities and the pagan mysteries underpinning the Catholic Church, author Jonathan Morris whips up a cracking bit of business that manages to squeeze in the requisite atmosphere and mystery while simultaneously playing to director Nick Briggs’ strong orientation towards action and bombast in the latter half.

“They’re all being summoned…to become Sisters of St. Matilda!”

Personally, I’d have preferred a more stately setting for all this Philip Hinchcliffe-style mise en scene, but in all, a decent effort that showcases not only our two leads, but Rowena Cooper’s Dean Shaw as a sort of ersatz Maggie Stables.  The way in which the character was both written and played, one wonders if she’ll be making a return in some form or another in the future…

Even the ostensible villain of the piece gets a chance at redemption (after a fashion), and it all ties together tidily in the end.

A few light witticisms, good acting all around and a reasonably tight (if admittedly overly rushed given its scope and potential breadth) script – what more can a listener ask for?