‘Feast of Fear’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Evil Nyssa with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Marc

This is a two-part story by Martyn Waites, who is new to ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish. I found this quite a disturbing adventure to listen to. This features an amazing villainous performance by Sarah Sutton.

Yes! Nyssa becomes evil in this two-parter! There have been instances where Nyssa got possessed or brainwashed by evil entities. I’ve done it myself a few times when I’ve written Nyssa in my stories. 😀

In this tale, as well as being evil, Nyssa gets to be a 19th century circus ringleader. It was disturbing to see Nyssa in that circus ringleader garb and make-up on the ‘Interstitial’/‘Feast of Fear’ CD cover.

I didn’t know what to expect before I listened to this story. I get anxious when Nyssa becomes brainwashed or possessed. I know she’ll come out alright in the end, but it’s still pretty unnerving. 😀

It was fun to hear Sarah playing a villainous role in Nyssa via ‘Doctor Who’ and I’m sure she enjoyed it too. The way that Nyssa laughs out loud in that evil manner is so chilling and disturbing to listen to.

Sarah does a very good evil laugh here. I did wonder if Nyssa had become evil or whether she’d been possessed. Gradually in the first episode, I was relieved Nyssa was being controlled by the Spae Wife.

It meant that Nyssa was not in control of her own actions. That’s very often the case when Nyssa’s not herself and acting evil. I know Nyssa wouldn’t betray her friends as that would be against her nature.

The story takes place in 19th century Ireland. A famine occurs and a carnival tries to bring cheer to every village it encounters. But something has happened to the carnival and an evil force takes over.

I liked the scenes where Nyssa comes out of her evil state once the Spae Wife’s control on her is slipping at times. Nyssa speaks in her own voice and not the evil tones that Spae Wife forces on her.

There are occasions where the Doctor, Marc and Tegan persuade Nyssa to think and fight against the Spae Wife’s control on her. Thankfully it works, if sometimes momentarily, for Nyssa to recall things.

I liked it when the Doctor tells Nyssa to recall Traken and what her life was like. I liked it when Marc encouraged Nyssa to recall the adventures they’ve had in ‘Tartarus’ and ‘Interstitial’. It often works!

It was terrifying to think of Nyssa using a whip in her role of ringmaster at this circus carnival. Some of the dialogue Nyssa says when she’s being evil is pretty terrifying and doesn’t sound like her at all.

Peter Davison’s Doctor has a rough time in this story, what with being blindfolded; locked in a cage; and talking to himself to prevent the Spae Wife controlling him. The Spae Wife wants the TARDIS! 😮

Janet Fielding as Tegan and George Watkins as Marc share a lot of scenes together when they travel to find the Doctor and Nyssa at the carnival. I like Tegan and Marc’s interaction together in this tale.

It was also fun to hear Marc trying to be a clown and failing miserably. Marc’s experience of seeing 19th century Ireland is like being in the future. Tegan says ‘everything’s in the future’ for him.

The story’s guest cast includes Deirdre Mullins as the Spae Wife. In actual fact, the Spae Wife is a woman called Roisin who is being controlled by an alien entity. The creature thrives upon emotions.

It was disturbing when the Spae Wife absorbed the life-forces of people by feeding off their emotions. Some of the deaths featured in this adventure are pretty disturbing when you hear them.

There’s also Melissa Dean as Brianna, who happens to be Roisin’s lover and wife. Brianna tries to break Roisin free from the Spae Wife’s control over her. It gets tense towards the tale’s conclusion.

The story also features Niamh McGrady as Shannon and Peter Heenan as Armstrong, two lovers who come to join the circus carnival. And there’s Michael Yare as Lorcan, one of the clowns at this circus.

I like how Tegan manages to break Nyssa free from the Spae Wife’s control over her when she’s confronting her. The dialogue is intense and I’m happy Nyssa gets freed from the Spae Wife’s control.

‘Feast of Fear’ is quite a disturbing story to listen to. I enjoyed Sarah Sutton’s performance in this adventure. It’s always fun to hear Nyssa not herself and I’m happy she didn’t become evil in the end.

Melissa Dean, Peter Heenan, Deirdre Mullins, Michael Yare, Sarah Sutton, George Watkins and Peter Davison in ‘Interstitial’/’Fear of Fear’.

I enjoyed the ‘Interstitial’/’Feast of Fear’ CD very much. Whilst ‘Interstitial’ wasn’t great for me, I still enjoyed the character moments from the four TARDIS regulars, especially with Marc’s first TARDIS adventure. ‘Feast of Fear’ is the best story out of the set as it features an amazing Sarah Sutton performance!

The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1 of the ‘Interstitial’/’Feast of Fear’ CD, there are two tracks of incidental music to enjoy. On Disc 2, there’s a trailer for ‘Warzone’/‘Conversion’ with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and George Watkins. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, including Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, George Watkins, director Scott Handcock, etc.

If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Interstitial’/’Feast of Fear’ via a 6 or 12 CD/download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There are PDF scripts and extended extras for ‘Interstitial’ and ‘Feast of Fear’.

‘Feast of Fear’ rating – 8/10

The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

For Tegan was

For Nyssa was

For Marc was

The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

For Tegan is

For Nyssa is

For Marc is

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Return to Tegan’s Timeline
Return to Nyssa’s Timeline
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4 thoughts on “‘Feast of Fear’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    I’d loved to watch your reactions when you heard this Tim i bet you were on tenderhooks throughout this chilling tale with possessed Nyssa.

    Sarah Sutton does evil a little to well & gave her all in this two parter, the scenes where Nyssa is battling for her sanity against the control of the Spae Wife was generally unsettling, i was shouting out come on Nyssa fight it to point my mom who is also a DW fan gave me a strange look.

    The characters really are up against it in this one, Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor mad me feel the Doctor’s pain as he desperately tries to keep his sanity, you do feel that this a struggle which adds great drama.

    Loved this story, dark, scary, excellent performances from the cast & one i shall relisten to again & again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Feast of Fear’.

      I suppose I was on tenderhooks throughout this tale. I enjoy any Nyssa story with Sarah Sutton in it, especially when Nyssa’s not herself and has become evil. I do think Big Finish have done this approach too many times now, but it does give us a brilliant performance on Sarah Sutton’s part.

      I did enjoy the tension featured throughout this adventure, especially when Peter Davison’s Doctor struggled to keep his sanity and when Nyssa struggled to overcome the control of the Spae Wife. It was quite disturbing to listen to.

      Thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you enjoyed this story and my review on it.

      Tim. 🙂


  2. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I agree with you that the story was quite disturbing. Sarah Sutton put in a great performance as an evil Nyssa. Janet Fielding in turn captured Tegan very well especially since she was the one that broke Nyssa free from the Spae Wife. They were in my honest opinion at their best here. Despite the Doctor and Marc having a smaller role than them, they were both performed well also. Peter Davison has a very talented nephew. I hope ‘Warzone’//Conversion’ will both be enjoyable.

    Speaking of Janet Fielding, did you know that she turned 68 yesterday?

    P.s. have you heard the rumours that Season 17 might be the next Collection set? If so, it’s disappointing that it won’t be Season 20 but we’ll see.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Feast of Fear’. Glad you agree this story was quite disturbing. Yes Sarah and Janet are at their best in this story and Peter and George give good performances here too.

      Yes, I found out it was Janet’s birthday yesterday. “Happy Belated Birthday, Janet!” 🙂 That’s the first I heard rumours of it being Season 17 next. I don’t mind that as I love ‘City of Death’ in that season. It’s a shame if it’s not Season 20 next (there might be BTS problems in getting that ready), but hopefully that will come out soon since Sarah, Peter and Janet did something special for that season, I believe. Hopefully they might do ‘Behind the Sofas’ for Season 17 with Sarah, Janet and Peter.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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