‘THE DREAD OF NIGHT’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Sandy, Annabel’s Imaginary Friend with the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz
Here we are on the final episode of Volume 1 of ‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ – ‘The Dread of Night’ by Tim Foley. This did feel like another haunted house episode, but it was still fun. 🙂
Tim Foley has written a number of episodes for ‘Doctor Who’ spin-offs including ‘Torchwood’, ‘Class’, ‘Gallifrey’, ‘The War Master’ and ‘The Lives of Captain Jack’. This is Tim’s first ‘Doctor Who’. 🙂
In the episode, the TARDIS trio visit a house in Northumberland, 1899. They’re offered shelter from bad weather by this grieving household. The Doctor, Chris and Roz also uncover disturbing secrets. 😐
There’s a sinister presence that stalks the house. One person of the household is not as she seems and the clue to it is a young girl’s imaginary friend who could possibly kills the victims its plagues on.
The episode’s cast include Melanie Kilburn as Nurse Hooley, Rhian Blundell as Isobel Price, Elaine Fellows as Annabel and Ellie Darvill as Willis. Like I said, one of these people isn’t as she seems to be.
This episode also allows Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor to be more manipulative compared to the previous three episodes of the CD box set. He even leaves Chris and Roz to go into that house alone.
The Doctor goes around the back of the house in order to meet Willis the cook before he uncovers the deadly truth. Sylvester McCoy plays the manipulative aspects of his Doctor very well in this story.
Travis Oliver as Chris Cwej is equally good here. I don’t think he has a standout outing in this episode, but I enjoyed the interaction he has with Roz in terms of how they saw their relationship. 🙂
It was fascinating to hear Chris and Roz coping without the Doctor for a while in this episode when entering the house via the front door. Chris also interacts interestingly with Nurse Hooley in the tale.
Yasmin Bannerman is also pretty good as Roz Forrester in the episode. Roz comes across as an active player in the episode and she sometimes even takes charge, which I’m sure she often did over Chris.
It was also fascinating to hear a hint of Roz’s family and how reluctant she is to share anything when asked about her family. I don’t know if this is setting something up in her final story ‘So Vile a Sin’. 😐
The reveal of the episode’s villain was quite intriguing. For a while, we’re meant to guess who the villain is. Listeners can be easily fooled that it’s Nurse Hooley who means to look after Annabel here.
But it turns out to be Isobel who’s the villain in the episode. She started off being nice and friendly before being revealed to not be Annabel’s sister, who’s suffering grief at the loss of family members.
Even Annabel keeps on repeating “You’re not meant to be here!” when Isobel in her presence. The Doctor deduces all this once he confronts Isobel at the end and she turns into a terrifying monster. 🙂
It can also be considered that Sandy, Annabel’s imaginary friend is a monster in the episode. I did jump out of my skin once there were jump scares featuring Sandy and she seemed to attack people.
Incidentally, Elaine Fellows voices Sandy as well as Annabel in the episode. Although in the episode’s credits, Sandy is played by herself. Weird! And most of the time Sandy laughs away in the distance. 🙂
It was nice to hear Willis as the cook when the Doctor gets to meet her in the kitchen around the back of the house. It was saddening when Willis got killed by Sandy about halfway in the tale itself. 😦
By the episode’s conclusion, Isobel gets defeated and Nurse Hooley is grateful to the Doctor, Chris and Roz for saving Annabel. Nurse Hooley hopes to take better care of Annabel in the future here. 🙂
It’s intriguing how Nurse Hooley started off being a suspicious person and she didn’t trust Chris, Roz and the Doctor on who they said they were when they arrived. But it’s down to her care for Annabel.
As the Doctor, Chris and Roz leave in the TARDIS, a faint laughter from Sandy echoes in the air. I don’t know what this means. Could Sandy still be causing havoc? Or is she protecting Annabel here?
‘The Dread of Night’ is another enjoyable episode in these Seventh Doctor adventures with Chris and Roz. The character drama is there and it was so intriguing to hear more of Chris, Roz and the Doctor.
Disc 5 of ‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ – Volume 1 CD box set is a bonus disc featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew on each of the four episodes. They’re all conducted by producer/director Scott Handcock. Very intriguing the bonus disc isn’t presented like a documentary.
We start off with a look into ‘The Trial of a Time Machine’ and have interviews with Sylvester McCoy, Travis Oliver and Yasmin Bannerman. We then have interviews with John Heffernan and Mina Anwar. Then we have interviews with Liz Sutherland-Lim and Vikash Bhai. They’re really enjoyable. 🙂
Then it’s a look into ‘Vanguard’. We have an interview with Travis Oliver, Sara Powell, Olivia Morris, Connor Calland and Jacob Dudman. It was fun to hear the story of how Sylvester McCoy made an exit out of the Big Finish studios with a “Knock Knock”, “Who’s There?”, “Doctor”, “Doctor Who?” joke. 🙂
After that, it’s a look into ‘The Jabari Countdown’. We have an interview with Janine Duvitski, Travis Oliver, Yasmin Bannerman, Leonie Schliesing, Rupert Young and Franchi Webb. I like how producer/director Scott Handcock asks questions about potential sequels for these certain episodes.
And we get to ‘The Dread of Night’. We have an interview with Travis Oliver, Yasmin Bannerman, Rhian Blundell, Melaine Kilburn and Elaine Fellows. I like how the disc ends with Travis Oliver, Yasmin Bannerman and Sylvester McCoy sharing on Big Finish’s 20th anniversary with ‘Doctor Who’.
‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ – Volume 1 has been an intriguing and enjoyable CD box set of ‘Doctor Who’! I’ve enjoyed the performances of Sylvester McCoy, Travis Oliver and Yasmin Bannerman as the Doctor, Chris and Roz and the stories themselves have been entertaining to hear.
I still would like more novel adaptations made of the ‘Virgin New Adventures’ of ‘Doctor Who’ as well as the ‘Virgin Missing Adventures’. But I’m glad Big Finish are continuing the stories of the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz. Hopefully there’ll be more to look forward to with this TARDIS trio. 🙂
‘The Dread of Night’ rating – 8/10
‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ – Volume 1 rating – 8/10
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