Synopsis: Midwinter is a magical time – a season of hope and renewal. It’s a time to spend with friends. With both Audacity and Charley by his side, the Doctor is looking to celebrate.
However, the season also brings cold and darkness. The TARDIS travelers are about to experience three very different winter’s tales.
Review: I’ve been ringing in the festive season with period ghost stories. Consequently, Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures: In the Bleak Midwinter was a marvelous additional three cups of dark chocolate Christmas cocoa.
The writers of this Yuletide set crafted homages to Charles Dickens and M.R. James. Along the way, listeners were treated to brilliant character dynamics among the TARDIS crew.
“Twenty-Four Doors in December” by John Dorney was the sort of thought experiment that a Doctor Who writer would contemplate at Christmas. What if Charles Dickens were inspired by an advent calendar?
Added to that, listeners got a struggling store Santa. Moreover, we’re treated to a return to Baker Street and Time Lord Christmas party planning.
“The Empty Man” by Tim Foley was the first of two nods to M.R. James with a dash of Valentine Dyall. Foley plotted a masterful bait-and-switch with Eldridge Brinkwood.
Additionally, Foley allowed Charley and Audacity a necessarily sobering, yet heartwarming psychological exploration. Moreover, the ending was perfect — proving internal logic was our friend.
“Winter of the Demon” by Roy Gill was James’ “A Warning to the Curious” on science-fantasy steroids. I loved Victorian Edinburgh, the unapologetic MacGuffin, and the meaning of it all in the end.
As ever, Paul McGann was wonderful. He perfectly captured the dichotomy of light and dark within the Doctor’s winter experiences.
For their parts, India Fisher and Jaye Griffiths bounced off each other as if they had been working together for years. It’s hard to believe they had only just met when recording began.
That said, I must single out the guest performances of Jason Watkins, Nickolas Grace, and David Robb. Their committed performances in central roles sold the spookiness behind the tinsel.
Thank you, Big Finish. Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures: In the Bleak Midwinter was the perfect Christmas present.
You can purchase Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures: In the Bleak Midwinter here.
- Audio Production10