(ISBN 1-903654-10-6)





 The TARDIS lands in a

 forbidding castle in a

 time of religious

 upheaval. The old god

 has been overthrown,

 and all heretics are

 to be slaughtered.


 And when the Doctor

 and Frobisher are

 hailed as messengers

 from heaven, they

 quickly become vital

 to opposing factions

 in their struggle for

 power. But will they

 be merely the

 acolytes of the new

 order - or will they

 be made gods



 An evil destructive

 force is growing deep

 within the crypt. And

 the pair soon find out

 that they will be

 lucky to escape their

 new immortality with

 their lives.


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The Holy Terror








“The Holy Terror” has already carved itself a place as one of the most beloved audio dramas in the Big Finish range. Why? Quite simply because it is absolutely brilliant. Robert Shearman’s first Doctor Who story is a funny, scary and surreal story, set in one of those classic Doctor Who places that seem sort of outside time, the “…forbidding castle in a time of religious upheaval…” that could be medieval Earth; a futuristic colony, somewhere in a galaxy far away; or even the musings of diseased mind, made flesh…


It is good to see the sixth Doctor getting so much exposure on audio. I have always been a fan of his performances (yes, even in “The Twin Dilemma”) and of his grouchy, more unpredictable Doctor. The gaping hole between the Doctor's trial and his first meeting with Mel gives Big Finish a lot of scope to tell exciting stories that plug this gaping chasm in the Doctor’s life and also allow Colin Baker to portray an older, slightly less edgy, more likeable Doctor. “The Holy Terror” is set during a time in the Doctor's life when he is once again travelling wirth Frobisher, a mesamorph private eye from the Doctor Who Magazine comic strips currently trapped in the form of a giant Penguin!


Never having seen the comic strip in my life, Robert Jezek’s portrayl of the “…big talking bird!” came as a complete breath of fresh air to me. Shearman writes the character with wit and guile and Jezek delivers every line in that 1930s 'private eye' accent perfectly.


The story itself is every bit as good as the cast and the production. On television Doctor

Who never dared to have a pop at organised religion, yet here Shearman writes a hilarious indictment of ludicrous traditions and religious oppression (the Spanish Inquisition springs immediately to mind).


Where the play really shines though, is in its incidental characters. Pepin, Childeric, Clovis, Livilla, and Berengaria are all fantastic, and Sam Kelly’s Eugene Tacitus has to be one of the best incidental characters in the history of Doctor Who; so humble, a dithering old man… yet so very frightening. In the latter part of the play his voice takes on a very haunting quality, creating some brilliant moments of genuine horror on audio. Terrifying.


“The Holy Terror” is such a clever piece of work that the only thing I can really compare this play to is the work of the great Douglas Adams. Shearman seems to share Adams' skill with observational humour taken to the nth degree, yet he also appears to have more mastery over what Doctor Who should be than Adams ever did. Rather than a cynically observant comic romp set against the backdrop of science fiction, “The Holy Terror” is a first class science-fiction story that is frighteningly hilarious.


It is every bit as chilling as it is funny, every bit as moving as it is clever. In short, it is a masterpiece. Believe the hype.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.



This play’s blurb suggests that it takes place between the comic strips The World-Shapers and The Age

of Chaos. However, we feel that it fits better following on from both the Big Finish audio drama The Maltese Penguin (which sees the Doctor reunited with his occasional travelling companion Frobisher after a while apart) and the novel Mission Impractical (which must be set after the Doctor’s trial depicted in The Trial of

a Time Lord as the trial is mentioned frequently throughout).


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