The Holy Terror (#14)

Big Finish Main Range

Frobisher! Frobisher! I never read the comics but Mr. Shearman talks about them in the liner notes. Apparently Frobisher is a companion only in the comic books, and now the BF audios. I wish they’d bring him back for another go-round, though. I’m rather partial to penguins myself. That being said, this isn’t the best audio drama on the block. It’s good though! I really like that this is ultimately, for the TARDIS, anyway, about giving Frobisher a lesson in considering the feelings of others, even if they are just constructs. And as a bonus, the Doctor gets to end a prison sentence. It’s very similar toMemory Lanein that it all takes place inside someone’s head, though the situation’s a bit different. This audio resolves on an upbeat note and pulls together nicely as the characters do what they’re programmed to while the prison all falls apart. (while Memory Lane just goes flat—review still to come!)

I must admit, this is the first audio with the odd, laugh-out-loud moments stuffed right in the beginning—recantation receipts? The first time I heard this audio I laughed out loud but I was also very curious as to what the heck could be going on. There’s always humor in Dr. Who, that balance of humor with danger throughout that makes for a good story.

This story has the tone and character of a fairy tale, which is excellent. However it has a bit of an unsatisfying ending. It’s all about the cage Eugene is trapped in. All of the characters are caricatures, limited by the old man’s imagination. I empathize very little with the old man’s predicament in the end. Instead of making me feel bad for the prisoner, I am caught up in the tale and excitement of the story. Fairy tale and moral of the story indeed.

Not that every audio has to be perfect! This one is very good but it just doesn’t make me want to pick it up every time I notice it. Colin Baker’s Doctor is my favorite but as I’m reviewing these audios, I’m seeing more and more that the Sylvester McCoy audios are more often on my favorites list… Strange, that! And since I do like Frobisher, who is only present in The Maltese Penguin—an inspired spoof indeed!—but I wish we could get more Frobisher. Ah, well. The people companions win out in the end. Though the future does look bleak for the companions as there are few audios in 2007 that appear to have companions! Big Finish isn’t getting rid of them altogether but it certainly seems like they’re focusing only on the Doctors. We’ll just have to see how that goes…

Colin Baker and Robert Jezek

Writer: Robert Shearman

Director: Nicholas Pegg

Release: November 2000

Laura Vilensky 2019