Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Finish - House of Blue Fire

This is Big Finish release 152, with the seventh Doctor in House of Blue Fire.

Four strangers with memory problems find themselves in a large mansion, waited on by a mysterious butler and preparing for dinner with the unknown master of the house. Each of them has a specific, and quite severe phobia, and all of them seem to be in danger until the arrival of the Doctor (of course).

This was quite a fun haunted house story, and there's almost nothing I like better than ghost stories. Once again the manipulative charms of Sylvester McCoy as the seventh Doctor are growing on me. I am going to have to get hold of some of his original stories to watch.

As always, Big Finish provide excellent sound design and music, and the cast includes the great Timothy West as the enigmatic Soames. Unfortunately one of the other actors rather spoiled this for me by jumping in to quickly with all of her lines. I was reminded of a story that William Goldman tells in his book Adventures in the Screen Trade. Laurence Olivier was in rehearsals to play the villain in Marathon Man and asked Goldman if he could change the order of some of the lines slightly, he explained that this change allowed his character to think about what was being said before responding. The actor in this piece leapt in so quickly on her cues that her character would not have had time to listen to what was being said and formulate a reply. It rather broke the spell of the play for me.

However, apart from that this was another solid Doctor Who story and I would still recommend it. This gets 3.5 out of 5 Sonic Screwdrivers. Next up is the eight Doctor and those pesky Cybermen.

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