Monday, February 18, 2013

Big Finish - Chimes of Midnight

A recent Big Finish special offer got me Chimes at Midnight for £3! Released back in 2002 and written by Rob Shearman with direction by Barnaby Edwards.

The Eighth Doctor and Charley arrive in a mysterious house and soon find themselves caught up in a nightmarish variant of Upstairs Downstairs. Someone is murdering the servants and unless they can solve the mystery they may find themselves trapped in this house forever.

Steven Moffat picked this story as his favourite Eighth Doctor adventure in a recent Doctor Who magazine article and the description sounded just perfect for me. It's a spooky tale of murders and ghosts in a haunted house with a clock ticking away in the background. And it turns out to be a little gem of a story. The Doctor soon gets cast as the great amateur detective who will sort out what is going on, while Charley gets to do that empathising with the working class victims that Doctor Who companions have been so good at in recent years.

Like many other Big Finish productions it has a small cast but they are used perfectly by Barnaby Edwards and even though the script requires them to repeat certain phrases over and over again they managed to do it in such a way that never becomes tiresome. McGann and Fisher lead things with aplomb. I prefer Charley as an Eighth Doctor companion rather than a Sixth and I am delighted that she will be coming back in the Big Finish 50th anniversary release The Light at the End.

I would single out one other member of the cast but that might be too much of a spoiler, let me just say that the actor who is revealed as the baddie does a a marvellous job. As do the sound design crew who turn in a lovely haunted house full of creaks, groans and that ticking and chiming clock.

I thoroughly enjoyed this play, I do like a good haunted house story. My marking might have been a bit generous of late so let's give this 4 out of 5 Edwardian adventuresses and then head for a rendezvous at Spaceport Fear. In the meantime if you know of any other good spooky Big Finish stories please let me know.

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