with Andrew Collins, James Goss, David Johnson, Adenya Knight, Michael Salami and James Unsworth
Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Darren Gross
In which not even the gates of Hell can keep the Reverend Gregory Trask (Lacy) from seeing his daughter Charity (Barrett) once again – but does Charity feel the same way? Why has he really returned from the dead, and has he truly eluded the grasp of the Dark Lord (Fairs)? And how does Collinsport Hospital nurse Audrey Pearce (Wallace) figure into this burgeoning family tragedy…?
Do you remember watching the 2005 series of the revivified Doctor Who and the feelings you experienced once the pieces of the hidden story arc suddenly snapped into place? That’s what listening to The Fall of the House of Trask feels like! Strands both obvious and surprising from numerous prior Big Finish Dark Shadows audios suddenly and brilliantly weave themselves into a far-ranging tapestry of tragedies as the Dark Lord’s long game comes to fruition.
But whereas many of Russell T. Davies’ arcs were big on emotion but tended to fall apart like wet cardboard under critical scrutiny, Joseph Lidster largely avoids this pitfall whilst also making the characters’ actions and reactions organic and credible. It’s really quite a breathtaking feat!
My sole quibble has to do with the level of American participation in Word War II as presented herein, which is considerably more advanced than it ought to be. While some American citizens were lending aid to the Allies as early as 1939, officially the United Stateswas neutral in the conflict until the Japanese attacked Pearl Habour – something that happened just about three months after this story takes place! (Unless, of course, history followed a different path in Dark Shadows’ “primary timeline” than it did in our reality…)
However, Joseph Lidster has freely admitting to “fudging” with history so that events could play out as depicted within this story. Although I’m normally against this sort of thing, I can’t deny the poignancy of it all, particularly when some characters make very stirring speeches about service to one’s country and sacrifice and the importance of living life to the fullest during times of uncertainty.
Verdict: Historical inaccuracies aside, The Fall of the House of Trask is a pinnacle of satisfying pay-offs and sad resolutions which also contains an omen of storylines to come… 9/10
John S. Hall