Castle of Fear (#127)

Big Finish Main Range

Well, well, well. How to describe this adventure? I think people will either like it or hate it. I, for one, really like it! Though I’m admittedly coming in from a place of ignorance since I know nothing about Roland, the knight of Brittany, or Hubert, the Earl of Mummerset. Part one of a three-parter in the area, derived from the comic book adventures of the 5th Doctor and Nyssa. So sayeth Barnaby Edwards! “The ham I have sliced has been very thick, for which I must apologize.” – John Sessions

<spoiler section!>

The one issue I really had is the Rutan sounds almost exactly like a Dalek or Silurian. Couldn’t they have found a better synthesizer voice? Something more distinct, perhaps. I always have to wonder why the bad guy alien doesn’t just kill the Doctor. One touch and the alien could kill him with electricity. So why don’t they ever just do that?

<spoilers done>

I have to say that I really didn’t see that ending coming! I won’t ruin it but suffice it to say, I can’t wait to hear what happens next. That’s one hum-dinger of a cliffhanger! Big Finish is really big on these multi-story audios of late. Sure, it’s good for subscription business and purchases and I generally like them. But I don’t want them to get too crazy with it. This one I’m on board with, though. So far I like it! I definitely like it better than the “Charley” finale stories. Is it the end of November yet? I’m so glad I have a download subscription as the British postal service was supposed to go on strike. I hope USPS never does that!

The interviews after the audio keep referring to Monty Python, as in this adventure “feels” like Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure, to a certain extent. But more serious with a light-hearted feel to it. I didn’t laugh out loud anywhere though I did enjoy the story immensely. So I’m not quite on board for that comparison though perhaps the actors felt that way because they got to ham things up a bit as “ye olde tyme” stereotypes of British lore – village witch, village idiot, things like that.

One Last Note: They’re finally getting down to the point of the Three Companions serial storyline. Mr. L indeed, eh? Lame. As is Thomas Brewster. I’m definitely in the hater camp. I’d never buy a story with him in it so for free is the only way I’m listening to that lame-o guy. He’s a slacker version of Turlough. Thanks but not my cup o’ tea, that’s for sure.

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton

Writer: Alan Barnes

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: October 2009

Laura Vilensky 2019