‘THE DEMONS OF RED LODGE AND OTHER STORIES’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Four mini-adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa
I love the Big Finish audio adventures with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton as the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa!
With ‘Circular Time’ being my favourite Doctor and Nyssa audio, I was so pleased to hear that a brand new CD with four one-part adventures was going to be released at the end of December 2010 featuring that TARDIS team. I was looking forward to hearing this new CD and I wasn’t disappointed!
I’ve had my CD cover of ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ signed by Peter Davison at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’, NEC Birmingham, November 2017 and Sarah Sutton at the ‘London Film and Comic Con’, Earl’s Court, London, July 2011.
Sarah agrees with me that these four stories are really good, including the first one which was very frightening. She enjoyed recording the DVD commentary episode. Sarah said at a convention that she laughed so much during the recording sessions that she ended up on the floor which is funny.
‘THE DEMONS OF RED LODGE’
The first story, ‘The Demons of Red Lodge’ by Jason Arnopp, really terrified me when I first heard it. It reminded me of an episode from ‘The Avengers’ with Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg. I was really frightened for Nyssa when she was frightened.
I wondered how the Doctor and Nyssa got into that woodshed in the first place and what would happen. The ‘demons’ can model themselves on any person and they take the form of… guess who?
The Doctor and Nyssa’s doubles are pretty cold and scary. Peter and Sarah enjoyed playing their evil doubles in this story and I do get terrified when the Doctor and Nyssa sometimes become bad guys.
I’m pleased this episode ends with beautiful scene between the Doctor and Nyssa. I like the links to Nyssa’s past from ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and the sense of peace between her and the Doctor.
‘The Demons of Red Lodge’ rating – 10/10
‘THE ENTROPY COMPOSITION’
The second story, ‘The Entropy Composition’ is by Rick Briggs who won the ‘writer’s opportunity’ for a Big Finish competition. I was totally unaware of this due to me studying my final year at university.
The story is set in two time zones: one on Earth 1968 and one in the future on Concordom that is ‘an MP3 player on a planetary scale’. The concept of the entropy sirens is pretty clever and intelligent.
There are lots of really good Doctor and Nyssa moments that I cherish like the ‘cheese in the ears’ moments and Sarah’s groupie Nyssa. I liked it when Nyssa calls the Doctor ‘sweet’ at some point.
Peter and Sarah shine as the Doctor and Nyssa throughout this episode. I like how the episode ends with a cliff-hanger as it seems the Erisi is still alive despite the Doctor and Nyssa stopping her…
‘The Entropy Composition’ rating – 8/10
The third story ‘Doing Time’ by William Gallagher is like a ‘Porridge’ episode. Although I don’t watch ‘Porridge’ much, this has the feel of a comedy set inside a prison set on an alien planet called Folly.
The Doctor has to spend a year in prison. He tried to warn the people of Folly of an explosion, but he gets locked away for making threats. Peter Davison delivers a superb performance as the Doctor.
Nyssa gets a lot to do as she works at the prison as a security guard and at a hospital. I found it funny when she’s terrible being ‘a desperate criminal’. Sarah enjoys and plays on the comedy scenes well.
I like the references to a certain ‘Michael’ that Nyssa meets at the hospital in this episode. There could have been a potential love story there for Nyssa to enjoy. Sadly it wasn’t to be. Poor Nyssa!
‘Doing Time’ rating – 8/10
Remember the TV episode ‘Blink’ where the Doctor warns Sally Sparrow about the Weeping Angels via a DVD extra? Well…‘Special Features’ by John Dorney certainly has a Steven Moffat ‘feel’ to it.
The Doctor participates in a DVD commentary on a 1970s horror film, that moderated by James Fleet (from ‘The Vicar of Dibley’) as director Martin Ashcroft. The final product is more than it appears to be.
The story cleverly mocks the DVD commentary format. The reveal that one of the commentators as an alien (I won’t say who) was a surprise. I laughed when ‘they would have to do it all over again!’
Nyssa’s very good too, as she took part in the 1970s film as Felicity. I’d like to turn the commentary track off and listen to Nyssa acting. Hopefully I won’t get taken over by a ‘Rasht nurse maid’.
‘Special Features’ rating – 10/10
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there’s a track of incidental music that I enjoyed. At the end of Disc 2, there is a trailer for ‘The Crimes of Thomas Brewster’ with Colin Baker, Maggie Stables and John Pickard. There are also behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, etc.
The thing that stood out for me in this CD was the lovely Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. Sarah as Nyssa works well as the Doctor’s companion both on TV and audio. I’m sure Sarah enjoyed doing the ‘loads of things’ that Nyssa did in all four stories including ‘The Entropy Composition’ and ‘Special Features’.
I like how the behind-the-scenes interviews begin and end with Sarah being interviewed. The interviews start with Sarah mentioning ‘Circular Time’ and end with her mentioning two audios she listened to recently which have become her favourites, including ‘Spare Parts’ and ‘Castle of Fear’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. In the post, there’s a bonus ‘Doctor Who’ CD called ‘The Four Doctors’ with Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann.
There are also PDF scripts and extended extras of ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ and ‘The Four Doctors’. There’s also ‘The Devil’s Whisper’, the central play in ‘Special Features’ and a bonus Short Trip audio called ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ with the First Doctor; read by Beth Chalmers.
‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ rating – 10/10
‘THE DEVIL’S WHISPER’
N.B –There are two reviews on this central play in ‘Special Features’. The first review is fiction. The second review is real.
Please feel free to comment on my reviews.
My first review of ‘The Devil’s Whisper’
‘Doctor Demonic’s Tales of Terror’ by Douglas Agnew
I’ve just purchased the 30th anniversary DVD of ‘Doctor Demonic’s Tales of Terror’!
I absolutely enjoyed this! This is a rare 1970s anthology movie that I thought would never see the light of day on DVD. It was supposed to be released for its 25th anniversary, but strangely got cancelled. Five years later, the DVD has been resurfaced and reissued and I’m happy to share my experience of this film.
This is one creepy movie starring Sir Jack Merivale and Nyssa Traken (who I’m a huge fan of, even though this is her only film credit). This is supposed to be a film with four shorter stories in it. Sadly the second-to-fourth stories are missing from this DVD and only the first story ‘The Devil’s Whisper’ is in existence.
I’ve had my DVD cover of ‘Doctor Demonic’s Tales of Terror’ signed by the lovely Nyssa Traken who I met at a horror convention recently. She told me I’ll be alright watching this film, though I don’t understand why she should say that to me. She seemed such a sweet person when I met her at the convention.
‘THE DEVIL’S WHISPER’
This first story is set in the rural village of Beachamwell, Norfolk. It’s about a visiting professor named Bromley and his niece Felicity who get caught up in the village’s strange happenings and death sacrifices.
I found this a creepy tale by Phillip Mongston. The film was well-directed by horror legend Martin Ashcroft. I enjoyed the fight scenes that took place in this story and the good performances by the cast.
Sir Jack Merivale is very scary as the narrator of this horror movie. I enjoyed his performance as Professor Bromley in ‘The Devil’s Whisper’ and the sadly late Johanna Bourke as the ‘sweet’ Carlotta.
The standout performance for me is Nyssa Traken as Felicity. She’s a very good little actress, doing so much with her face and looking scared. The twist in her character at the end took me by surprise.
The DVD special features are as follows. There is an interesting audio commentary on ‘The Devil’s Whisper’ that was originally meant to be released on the 25th anniversary DVD. The commentators are director Martin Ashcroft; Sir Jack Merviale; Johanna Bourke and historical advisor Dr John Smith.
Sadly there aren’t any trailers or a making-of documentary about ‘The Devil’s Whisper’…
My second review of ‘The Devil’s Whisper’
‘THE DEVIL’S WHISPER’
I enjoyed hearing ‘The Devil’s Whisper’ without the commentary from ‘Special Features’. I wanted to hear this play for a long time and I’m glad I have. No Rasht maid infected my mind thankfully, I think.
Hearing it on audio sounded strange, as this would have been watched on screen by the commentators. It was nice to hear the characters dialogue without the commentary interrupting it.
Ian Brooker was great to listen to as the narrator and hearing him as Bromley. The twist in Bromley’s character was a delight to listen to and Joanna Munro’s performance as Carlotta was equally delightful.
But Sarah Sutton’s performance as Nyssa playing Felicity was my favourite. I couldn’t help but giggle when Nyssa was acting and I’m so pleased that I’ve heard Sarah as Nyssa properly in ‘Special Features’.
In order to hear ‘The Devil’s Whisper’, you’ll need to subscribe to the Big Finish website with ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ for either a 6 or 12-CD/Download subscription.
‘The Devil’s Whisper’ rating – 9/10
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