In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Darkness of Glass

A script laced with Edwardian magic that epitomized The Fourth Doctor’s era with just a sprinkling of Sapphire & Steel.

Synopsis: Cut off from the TARDIS, the Doctor and Leela find themselves stranded on a small island.  But they are not alone.  It is 1907, and members of the Caversham Society have gathered on the hundredth anniversary of the death of Mannering Caversham, the greatest Magic Lanternist who ever lived.

But Caversham was also a supernaturalist who claimed to have conjured up a demon from the depths of hell. As people start to die, the Doctor begins to wonder if Caversham’s story might have more than a grain of truth in it. Can the Doctor and Leela discover what really happened to Caversham a century ago?  And if they do, will they live to tell the tale..?

Review: Writer Justin Richards and Director Nicholas Briggs really hit this one out of the Hinchcliffean park. As Louise Jameson said in the behind-the-scenes interviews, “The Darkness of Glass” was “The Horror of Fang Rock,” which was directly referenced, combined with “The Talons of Weng-Chiang.” Listeners got a spooky castle-on-an-island soundscape that would make the ghost of Vincent Price envious, glass that screamed (courtesy of Mr. Briggs himself), and a script laced with Edwardian magic that epitomized The Fourth Doctor’s era with just a sprinkling of Sapphire & Steel. Throughout, a stellar cast played it straight, while Tom Baker ate his sometimes improvised dialogue with a spoon. In short, this story encapsulated everything I love about Doctor Who.

Written By: Justin Richards

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Mark Lewis Jones (Professor Oliver Mortlake), Julian Wadham (Joseph Holman), Sinead Keenan (Mary Summersby), Rory Keenan (David Lacey)

10
Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Darkness of Glass
  • Script, Acting, Atmosphere
  • Too short
  • Story
    10
  • Acting
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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