The Fearmonger (#5)

Big Finish Main Range

This is a perfect example of a good audio drama for Sylvester McCoy’s “scheming” Doctor. It has a political bend to it, setting it firmly in the real of possibility for Earth. As the supernatural bad guy is just a fizzy sphere of some type, the audio is given the bad guy we can’t “see” and the Doctor can’t communicate/negotiate with. Thus Ace and the Doctor have their work cut out for them, with a little help from their contacts in England.

Ace is still Ace here, willing to get down and dirty in order to get the job done. That she’s shot is actually pretty believable, though die-hard fans know she isn’t killed. Threatened and in danger is believable because she’s willing to do that. Other than Ace and the Doctor, Paul Tanner is the most believable character in the rest of the audio. The radio host, the “radical” party members, including Walter, are all believable yet for an American audience, I just don’t know the politics in England well enough to be in tune with this part of the audio.

Overall, the story’s pretty good. But not having experienced the soccer “hooligans” or riots, or even really understanding just why you’d riot for a soccer team, I can’t understand the mob mentality. Not that it’s required for this audio but it’s part of why I can’t rate it higher than 3 jelloids. The plot moves along it’s just the politics that make it stumble for me. The Doctor is doing his usual manipulation of the outcome but since he doesn’t figure out the real location of the “bad guy” until almost the 4th part of the audio, it doesn’t follow the vein of his other audios where he’s in control, such as Shadow of the Scourge and Colditz, the absolute ultimate in his manipulative stratagems. Ha! Bad pun.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred

Writer: Jonathan Blum

Director: G-Russell

Release: February 2000

Laura Vilensky 2019