Whispers of Terror (#3)

Big Finish Main Range

This has to be the weakest of the early dramas. You would think that a sound creature would make for a great monster in an audio play! But when you stop to consider, all you hear is the audio so it’s not all that frightening. The “monster” is just not threatening. He can lead the bad people to their deaths if they can’t read? Touching the door that’s labeled “Dangerous,” performing dangerous repairs on the computer’s say-so, running down hallways screaming despite knowing that the bad guy’s in every sound. Stupid bad guys are simply just not satisfying to listen to.

If I was into politics, I might enjoy this one more. It’s all about politics and how one politician takes over for another. It’s not horrible. It’s just not the best that Justin Richards can do, based on future audios such as Time of the Daleks. This is not his best writing, though I think the idea is great. Perhaps it’s just execution or directing?

And Peri didn’t get much to do except run around and report on her findings to the Doctor. It definitely seems like the relationship between Peri and the Doctor hasn’t been worked out yet with this adventure. There are others where they seem to not quite jive, not work well together, likeish.... Usually they are a steady banter and Peri is one of those companions who’s there to get the Doctor to tell the audience what’s going on.

She doesn’t seem to get much time on her own to further the story, unlike withThe Church and the Crown(a classic!). But since this is the first audio drama with the Dr. and Peri, it’s understandable that they’re taking their relationship from the books and the TV series and aren’t quite settled in yet. That’s how it feels—Miss Bryant and Mr. Baker haven’t quite gotten comfortable in the back and forth yet. It definitely improves with later dramas but they have to start somewhere! Though perhaps we get to see a more relaxed Dr. later on due to his interaction with Evelyn—the writers picking up on how that interaction COULD work with a companion. She’s the perfect foil for Colin Baker’s Doctor, ultimately. Though with the comedic turn of The One Doctor, they’ve accomplished this with Melanie. But she’s not with the Dr. for most of the adventure!

Ultimately, this isn’t an adventure I enjoy listening to. It’s not horrid but the monster is a bit weak and the threat not very, well, threatening. So I can only give it two jelloids out of five.

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant

Writer: Justin Richards

Director: Gary Russell

Release: November 1999

Laura Vilensky 2019