Big Finish Review – Doctor Who – The Fourth Doctor Adventures – “The Crooked Man”


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Winter at the seaside. The wind blows. The waves crash. People are dying and a strange spindly figure stalks the cold, deserted streets. A typical holiday for the Doctor and Leela in other words.

When they stumble across a grotesque series of murders at the coast, the TARDIS travellers realise the local constabulary is out of its depth. Something supernatural has come to town, something evil. And it all seems to be tied in to a particular young family.

Monsters lurk behind strange doors. Tragic secrets wait to be uncovered. And somewhere, deep within, the Crooked Man sits. He is waiting for you.

Written By: John Dorney
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Neil Stuke (The Crooked Man), Sarah Smart (Laura Corbett), Robin Pearce (Simon Corbett/Reporter), Richard Earl (Ellis Andrews/Rance), Lizzie Roper (Celia Turner/Lesley King)

So I had planned to post this, and all my forthcoming reviews, on a website devoted to Doctor Who. Alas, that site is down, and has been for several days now. So for now we’re back to this until I can find a new home, or until that one gets restored.

Anyhow, this story. Yes, quite good. It touches on a concept the Second Doctor encountered back in the day, namely “The Land of Fiction”. This is a pocket universe where all the various characters from fiction exist. It was only used once in the TV series and is regarded as something a bit iffy by many fans of the show, but I rather liked the concept. I understand it was overused in the books and comics, but Big Finish has, so far, used it twice that I know of, so that’s good.

The story itself was excellent, though it’s always a bit odd to hear the Fourth Doctor referencing things like eBay. I very much enjoyed the various supporting characters, and the eventual fate of one of them was nicely heart-breaking. I also really enjoyed Baker and Jameson’s performances, as always, and Neil Stuke really did an excellent job as the Crooked Man, something I’d normally expect Nicholas Briggs to do.

Overall this was a decent, enjoyable, and minor little story. I don’t think it will live long in the minds of fans, but for what it was, it was good.

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