Welcome to Big Finishing Move! This is where I get to don my hat as a critic and share my thoughts on the works of that staple of the audio industry, Big Finish. For this latest entry, we’re turning our gaze back to the Fourth Doctor with Gallery of Ghouls.
Is this sucker worth your ducats, or should you save that money so that you can get the pricey energy drink AND the microwave sandwich the next time you hit up the vending machines at the office? Let’s find out!
TARDIS Team: The Fourth Doctor and Romana II
The Doctor is once again in Brighton, and is also once again there at the wrong time. With crap all else to do, the Doctor and Romana decide to hit up the local waxwork exhibit run by Madame Tissot (not to be confused with Tussaud) for a jolly or two. Once inside, the Doctor begins (as he always does) critiquing the small inaccuracies with the historic displays. Romana, on the other hand, sees a shady character up to what appears to be no good, and wouldn’t you now it, an important piece of the exhibit goes missing and our pair is drawn into the thick of things yet again.
My issue with this story is that it is too much a slave to its comedic tone. At several points during the story, there are events that add tension and dramatic elements, but the story opts for quick jokes and comedic scenarios that deflate the situation immediately. There is some intriguing and nasty bits of the story that only get a quick mention as we ramp up to the next joke. Dark comedy, even in a farce, works best when you have a few pauses where the disturbing nature of what is happening is allowed to sink in, but this tale is so stuffed with humor that it overpowers everything else.
With so many jokes stacked up against each other, I hard time reacting to one before I was expected to move on, and a good deal of the jokes didn’t have time to land. Thankfully, the majority that do hit are actually pretty damn funny. There is a long list of one liners and references to other stories in the classic-era that will most definitley make fans happy.
On the performance side of things, I’ll have to give it to Celia Imrie’s Madame Tissot. Imrie, who also played Miss Kizlet in The Bells of Saint John with Matt Smith, does a great job fleshing out the various sides of Madame Tissot, a character that seems to be one note until late in the story.
Your enjoyment of this story is going to come down to how much you like the sillier side of Doctor Who. The story and the characters aren’t taking things seriously and the stakes for the most part are nonexistent. If you need something with some meat on it, or even just a simple moral, this isn’t it.
On the flip side, if you are the sort of person that enjoys the odd bit of nonsense from time to time, as long as it done with enough wit and charm, this should be a rather tasty little treat.
Purchase Doctor Who: Gallery of Ghouls Here:
Since you made all the way down here, I implore you to check out the rest of One Of Us for all the other great content we have to offer. We got articles, review, podcasts, and audio dramas (such as the new series, The Orphans ) to be found here. It’ll be our little secret!
Check out my previous reviews:
Phantasmagoria, The Fearmonger, The Light At The End, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, Storm Warning, Blood of the Daleks, The Chimes of Midnight, Seasons of Fear, The King of Sontar, White Ghosts, Dark Eyes II, The Crooked Man, Project: Twilight, The Evil One, The Harvest, The Last Of The Colophon, The Council Of Nicaea, Destroy The Infinite, Afterlife, The Abandoned, Zygon Hunt, Revenge Of The Swarm, Philip Hinchcliffe Presents Box Set, Dark Eyes 3, Mask of Tragedy, The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, The Exxilions, The Darkness of Glass, Dark Eyes IV, Requiem for the Rocket Men, Signs And Wonders, Death Match, Suburban Hell, The Burning Prince, The Cloisters of Terror, The Acheron Pulse, The Fate of Krelos, The Shadow Heart, Return to Telos, The Sixth Doctor – The Last Adventure, Doom Collation I, The Yes Men, The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous, Wave of Destruction, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle, The War Doctor Volume 02: Infernal Devices, Doom Coalition 2, The Paradox Planet, Legacy of Death, The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 1