Wednesday, 18 November 2015


The Eighth Doctor meets the Brigadier! Or at least that's what was supposed to happen. Oh dear...

"The 21st century has just begun, and Malebolgia is enjoying its status as the newest state in America. After his successful involvement with Scotland's devolution, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart has been invited over to Malebolgia to offer some of his experiences and expertise.
There he encounters the charismatic Brigham Elisha Dashwood III, an evangelical statesman running for Governor who may not be quite as clean-cut and wholesome as he makes out. One of Dashwood's other roles in society is as patron of a new medical institute, concentrating on curing the ills of the human mind. One of the patients there interests the Brigadier - someone who claims he travels through space and time in something called a TARDIS.
Charley, however, has more than a few problems of her own. Amnesiac, she is working as a hostess at the local chapter of the Hell Fire Club, populated by local dignitaries who have summoned forth the demon Marchosias. And the leader of the Club? None other than Dashwood, who seems determined to achieve congressional power by the most malevolent means at his disposal..."
I'm not even going beat around the bush or try to convince you this story is worth giving a chance. It's not. It's a horrible story and below I'll help convince you why.

Let's start with the main character - the Doctor! Who does not actually get to play the Doctor until about 80% into this story. What's he doing for 80% of the story? Well he's suffering from amnesia and spouting nonsense and generally just not being entertaining.

So if Paul McGann isn't the Doctor, then who is? Nicholas Briggs...kind of. Actually, it doesn't matter because even he doesn't actually do much in this story and when he does something, he is unlikable.

And Charley Pollard? What pray-tell is she doing during this mess Big Finish decided to call Minuet (more like 2.5 hours) in Hell? Of she's a prostitute in some secret occult underground club called the Hellfire Club. Now this would at least bring in the fanservice fans if they could see Charley in some slutty outfit, but they can't so this idea kinda falls flat. Oh and did I mention she has amnesia as well?

Before we get to the Brigadier (bless his soul), why don't we talk about the villain for this piece. Since the story supposedly takes place in Texas, expect some incredibly bad accents, but I think ???? Could spot this early on and decided to make Marchosias as hammy and over the top as he could. Nice try, but the fact that the supposed villain for this story can't take himself seriously means that I have  even more trouble with it.

And lastly, we'll talk about the only good thing about this story: Nicholas Courtney! If anything could convince you to listen to this story, its Courtney's Lethbridge Stewart. If it wasn't for him, this story would be a flat zero with poor pacing, unlikable characters and just a really poorly written story. Seriously, this story drags on forever. The cliffhangers are awful and the fact that the Doctor and the Brig don't meet until the very end just makes it so much worse. What made The Spectre of Lanor Moore work so brilliantly was the fact that the Doctor and the Brig met each other almost immediately. This dynamic is what made the Pertwee Era so popular. So why in the name of Marchosias would you invite the Brigadier for a Doctor Who story and not have them bounce off one another? A complete and utter waste of a Doctor/Brig meet up.

Rating this story: 1/5.

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