THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMAS
"LIVE 34" AND ACE
AND HEX'S SEGMENT OF
"THE VEILED LEOPARD."
BIG FINISH CD#79
RELEASED IN FEBRUARY
A remote Scottish
are haunted by
ghosts from their
Hex IS disturbed by
appearance of a
apparition AND Ace
tries to befriend
the young housemaid,
Sue, WHO knows
secrets. But Sue's lips
her disturbing toy,
ghosts of the past
become ghosts of the
present, the killing
Night Thoughts scared the shit out of me. “It’s your own fault for listening to it whilst walking home from work at gone 3 o’clock in the morning…” I hear you say, and you’re probably right. Still…
Originally written by Edward Young for the television series just prior to its cancellation, this story has a very 1989 feel to it – the slightly unreal and moody setting reminds me very specifically of Ghost Light. However, although Young’s script is fascinating, it’s far from fabulous. Where this story really excels is in the delivery - this story has to be a serious contender for the ‘scariest audio ever’ award.
Like many audio dramas before it, Night Thoughts is about someone playing around with time, although Young does put a refreshing new spin on the old idea. What if you could send yourself a warning back through time to prevent you, say, mistakenly killing a girl, but the effects of that warning on the present day are only… moderate. Moderate in the sense that the warning may have prevented you from killing the girl in the past, but in the present she’s still dead, the only effect your warning has had on the here and now is to make her perfectly preserved corpse restless…
Walking dead aside, Night Thoughts is populated by bear traps, ghostly figures wearing hoodies, spooky tape recordings, a terrifying fluffy toy named ‘Happy’, and even a particularly disturbing unearthly child, Sue. Sue has a chilling ambiguity about her, just towing the line between sympathy and terror. Lizzie Hopley’s voice is something else…
Furthermore, the sound design is even more brilliant than usual here, Gareth Jenkins taking all these elements and combining them to create a terrifying world of horror and suspense.
I also enjoyed hearing the Doctor, Hex and Ace working together for much of the story - the first time that we’ve really seen them in action as a cohesive unit since Hex’s debut in The Harvest. The interaction between Ace and Hex here is of particular interest, the sexual tension I perceived between them in The Harvest having given way to something more akin to sibling rivalry.
And so whilst Night Thoughts isn’t my favourite Sylvester McCoy audio, it’s most definitely does what it says on the tin. I just wouldn’t recommend listening to it at 3.45am whilst traversing the mean streets of Hull.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
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