Chimes of Midnight (#29)

Big Finish Main Range

Goodness! Ghost stories are so much fun! And they manage to do them quite well with Dr. Who. Mr. Shearman has a few fun stories, too: The Holy Terror, Jubilee, and Scherzo. I’d have to say that this is the best of his stories, though. Jubileewas kind of a mess and Scherzo was just a bit confusing and odd. Perhaps it’ll be better upon the next listen through! I did loveThe Holy Terrorbut the Chimes of Midnight is a classic bizarre ghost story.

Edith Thompson, the scullery maid, who thinks she should die. The rest of the servants are very much stereotypical but that’s the point as Edward Grove is the true star of the show. What do you do whenever you are in the belly of the beast? Hope for the best like Jonah? Goodness but there are just a lot of spooky moments, especially the first time through. And I don’t want to ruin the surprise for any newbies, either. Just know that this is a good story for, as Mr. Shearman suggests, turning out the lights and listening to alone, to spook yourself.

I do admit, however, that the solution seems rather simplistic. Charley doesn’t have to kill herself? That’s it? Make a decision. And promise to remember Edith? I like the little wrap-up. Shaunassy, throughout the story, obeys the orders of Edward Grove and threatens the Doctor and Charley. But then he can’t disobey the direct order of a gentleman? When I listen to the story, it doesn’t bother me initially. But it gave me pause when I consider it. And I guess I may not be able to relate to the whole servant mentality of the scullery maid, butler, ladies maid—US mindset perhaps. I just can’t give it a 5 out of 5, though. Good spooky story but not EXCELLENT.

Paul McGann and India Fisher

Writer: Robert Shearman

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: February 2002

Laura Vilensky 2019