Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: 4th Doctor Adventures: Night of the Stormcrow

Night of the Stormcrow coverThe Doctor and Leela arrive at a remote island observatory as a dangerous experiment is underway…

Draw the curtains, light the fire, and dim the lights – it’s time for a proper winter’s tale courtesy of Marc Platt, director Nicholas Briggs, Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, as well as a star cast. You can’t get it without subscribing? There’s an obvious answer to that one… (subscribe, in case anyone thinks we’re advocating less scrupulous methods!)

Combine the claustrophobia of Horror of Fang Rock with the ancient menace of Image of the Fendahl, and stir in some Platt patent imagery, and you’ve got Night of the Stormcrow. As the tension increases within the observatory, and you realise that there really is nothing there (or is that the problem?) this becomes a strong contender for the best story Big Finish have yet provided for the fourth Doctor – whether or not Tom Baker is directly involved or not.

Platt captures the essence of the fourth Doctor – to the extent that the Time Lord’s apparent decision to depart at one point isn’t as jarring as it would be with virtually any other incarnation – and the relationship between him and Leela fits right in to the gap between the two seasons in which Louise Jameson appears.

For a story that is effectively being given away free to the majority of listeners, so its costs aren’t going to be recouped for some time, this isn’t done on a tight budget: Tenko star Ann Bell reunites with Jameson, while DS9’s Chase Masterson makes her second Big Finish appearance in a more restrained role than the bounty hunter with which she is likely to become more associated.

Verdict: They say subscribers get more: this is added value in every sense. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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