Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish: 4th Doctor Adventures 5.2: The Labyrinth of Buda Castle

DW4D0502_thelabyrinthofbudacastle_1417Budapest 1980 and Romana’s quiet drink is interrupted by a rather persistent admirer…

Eddie Robson continues the current season of Tom Baker adventures with a spooky story that plays with the Dracula myth as well as everything that we as fans know about the Doctor and Romana’s relationships with vampires. Bearing in mind State of Decay is still some way away, there’s not a large amount made of the latter (and of course the Doctor’s own encounter with Dracula will come in his fifth incarnation, even if we heard it many years ago now!).

Guest stars Mark Bonnar and Kate Bracken have great fun with the script, and its various twists and turns – Bracken is teamed with either Baker or Lalla Ward at various times during the story, and works well against both. Baker himself really seems to have thrown off the years in this story – some of his confrontation scenes with Bonnar’s character really sound as if they were performed by a man at the peak of his vitality, while Bonnar continues to establish himself as one of Big Finish’s best Men of Evil!

It’s a story to listen to carefully: Robson scatters clues throughout the first episode which come into play in the second, and there’s a lot of playing with the tropes along the way. Director Nick Briggs uses Jamie Robertson’s sound design carefully to throw you off track as well – it really is one of those stories where you need to question everything you’re hearing…

Verdict: A skilfully written and produced twist on the normal vampire tale. 9/10

Paul Simpson



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