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The Hornet’s Nest Part 4, A Sting In The Tale: The Doctor falls foul of a sting operation
on 26 March 2014
Released in 2009, this is the fourth part of a five part story that saw the return of Tom Baker to the role of the Fourth Doctor. It is part of a story arc, and can probably be listened to in isolation but I would advise listening to Stuff of Nightmares, the Dancing Shoes and Circus of Doom first. It is a single hour long episode on a single disc, with some well realised artwork on the inlay.
Following the events of Stuff of Nightmares, the Doctor and Mike Yates are trapped in the cellar at Nest Cottage for the night while the murderous menagerie of possessed taxidermical terrors roams the rest of the building. The Doctor uses the opportunity to fill Mike in on his other encounters with the Hornets. Here he recounts his most recent (for him) but earliest (for the hornet’s) encounter. The TARDIS takes the Doctor back to 8th century Northumbria, in the depths of winter. The local nunnery is coming under siege night after night from a pack of crazed wolves, trying to get to the nun’s abbess. The Doctor recounts the desperate siege, and then the terrible mistake that he makes that nearly allows the Hornets to conquer him.
The first half of the tale is a well realised and described dark age setting, the second half is a desperate run around the TARDIS. Both halves are well realised and narrated, and recall those Saturday tea times of my childhood perfectly.
The tale is largely narrated by Baker, with a few lines from other cast members. It’s more than a simple audiobook, but not quite a full production. It’s an effective style and allows us to glory in Baker’s orotund tones as he slips right back into the role. I rather enjoyed the story. In all 4 stars.