In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: Gallery of Ghouls

The Doctor’s commentary on Madame Tissot’s wax tableaux of Nelson’s death was worth the price alone.

Synopsis: When the TARDIS lands in Brighton the Doctor and Romana have the chance to spend some time at the seaside. But with it being too early for the opening of the Pavilion, they have to look elsewhere for their entertainment – perhaps Madame Tissot’s travelling waxworks, recently arrived in town?

But they’re not the only ones interested in her Exposition. When an unusual thief commits an unusual theft, the time travellers are on the case.

What exactly is the sinister secret of Goole’s Gallery? Is Tissot’s heading for a meltdown? And what does it all have to do with the head of Marie Antoinette?

Review: This latest Fourth Doctor Adventure made a nice change from the usual variations on megalomania by playing with the aliens looking for sensory stimulation trope.

As usual with these stories, plot wasn’t the point; the performances were. Tom Baker and Lalla Ward effortlessly played every facet of their characters, and they were given the wonderful Celia Imrie to act with.

The Doctor’s commentary on  Madame Tissot’s wax tableaux of Nelson’s death was worth the price alone. Another highlight was Romana’s meta conversation with Nickolas Grace’s Goole about why one would go around wearing copies of royals’ bodies. I have two minor quibbles, however.

First, there was no K9 in this one; I always miss him when he’s alluded to but not there.

Second, Lalla Ward told a marvelous story in the Extra Interviews about how her Madame Tussaud’s wax figure was not completed in time for a Doctor Who exhibit and what she had wanted to do about that. I wish writer Alan Barnes had been able to incorporate a nod to that incident as wish fulfillment.

Written By: Alan Barnes

Directed By: Ken Bentley

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Celia Imrie (Madame Tissot), Nickolas Grace (Goole), Stephen Critchlow (Noni)

9.7
Big Finish: Doctor Who: Gallery of Ghouls
  • Story, Performances
  • No K9
  • 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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