Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: 4th Doctor Adventures 3.3: The Crooked Man

the-crooked-man_cover_largeAn unexplained death in a bookstore is just the latest in a series of odd events that the Doctor and Leela need to investigate…

There’s a definite chill about this wintery story from John Dorney which permeates the entire atmosphere and makes the temperature feel as if it’s dropped, even on a rare sunny day, thanks to some nice work from Nick Briggs and Jamie Robertson. It’s very much in the mould of the Hinchcliffe/Holmes era of the show, with a new twist given to an old idea (in this case, one of the show’s own old ideas), and some very gruesome imagery – the death midway through the first part would be horrendous to visualise.

Dorney doesn’t cheat: all the clues are there right from the very start of the story, and I did wonder for a moment if it might be one of Big Finish’s own villains who was making a reappearance. There was a question asked recently online about the classic Doctors facing modern-day menaces, and while this isn’t exactly that, the threat arises out of a contemporary issue, and not one that could have been envisioned at the time that Tom Baker and Louise Jameson were first playing the parts.

There’s a good ensemble cast: Neil Stuke, Sarah Smart, Robin Pearce, Richard Earl and Lizzie Roper have to provide varying levels of performance (that’ll make sense once you hear it), and Briggs reins in the leading man where necessary to ensure that there’s a consistent approach.

Verdict: A neat standalone tale. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Crooked Man from Big Finish

<<< 3.2: White Ghosts

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