Synopsis: Whilst on the way to visit the birthplace of Henry James, a chance encounter with a spiritualist on a train sends the Doctor and Romana on the trail of a ghost. It’s the most convincing case of haunting he’s ever heard of, he tells them. And so, on their arrival, does it appear to be.
Things go bump in the night at Malkin Place. The voice of a crying child. Birds bursting into flight. Strange movements in a seance.
The Doctor is determined there must be a rational explanation. But is science always the answer to everything?
Review: Doctor Who: The Haunting of Malkin Place was Big Finish’s answer to “The Empty Child/“The Doctor Dances.” It was ostensibly a supernatural homage. In truth, it was a science fantasy allegory about PTSD, grief, and renewal.
The presentation of the ghostly elements was spot on. I particularly liked the spectral children. Indeed, I didn’t feel cheated in any way by the explanation for their presence. In typical Doctor Who fashion, the problem also presented the solution. I also adored the final twist with Mrs. Mountford. As someone who enjoys fantasy and horror as much as science fiction, I appreciated having my cake and eating it too. My only issue with the story was the absence of K9. He could have served as both tonal contrast and as commentary on service animals in war.
The chemistry between Tom Baker and Lalla Ward was on full display. Moreover, it was marvelous how the writers reflected the viewpoints of the two actors in their characters. As I mentioned above, however, I’m sorry they couldn’t include John Leeson.
- You can purchase Doctor Who: The Haunting of Malkin Place here.
Written By: Phil Mulryne
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs
Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Simon Jones (Talbot), Denise Black (Mrs Mountford), Gunnar Cauthery(Maurice), Fiona Sheehan (Beatrice), Rikki Lawton (Tom), Phil Mulryne (Jack)
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
- The Good: Story, Performances
- The Bad: Could've used K9
- Audio Production10