In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Silent Scream

Big Finish produced a story that encapsulated the Fourth Doctor’s era — lyrically gothic science fantasy that’s tragic, yet uplifting.

Synopsis: On the set of a busy Hollywood movie in the late 1920s, a damsel is in distress! As cameras roll, she opens her mouth to scream and… nothing comes out. Nothing at all. It’s happened again.

The Doctor, Romana and K9 have arrived in a terrified Tinseltown. A new film is being made and several stars of the silent screen are viewing it as a potential comeback… but it may prove a poisoned chalice. Actors are vanishing and strange creatures stalk the streets.

Something evil is lurking behind the scenery. Can the Doctor stop it when he doesn’t have a voice?

It’s time for his close-up.

Review: Doctor Who met Sunset Boulevard! Big Finish produced a story that encapsulated the Fourth Doctor’s era — lyrically gothic science fantasy that’s tragic, yet uplifting.

James Goss wrote an unrepentant love letter to Hollywood’s silent era. He allowed the Fourth Doctor to wax eloquent about how “marvelous” film escapism still is for someone as old as he is. He turned silent film tropes like the mad scientist and the damsel in distress into allegory for Tinseltown’s talkie transition.

Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, and John Leeson were superb as usual. The notion that K9 journeyed down the early Los Angeles highway to find and rescue Romana justified the story alone. In addition, Alec Newman played a top notch villainous sparring partner for the Fourth Doctor, and Andrée Bernard did a spirited turn as Lulu Hammerstein, an impromptu Companion. This was definitely my favorite story so far this season.

You can purchase Doctor Who: The Silent Scream here.

Written By: James Goss

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), John Leeson (K9), Alec Newman (Dr Julius), Pamela Salem (Lorretta Waldorf), Jane Slavin (Nelly), Andrée Bernard (Lulu Hammerstein), John Banks (Cab Driver/ Director)

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor John Dorney

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

9.7
Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Silent Scream
  • Story, Performances
  • Not a thing
  • Story
    9.0
  • Performances
    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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