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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inventive story with a dark edge, 11 April 2006
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"One would-be assassin is in a mental ward. Another's on the run. Their intended victim is stirring up the mobs. Terrorists are planning a strike of their own. A talk-radio host is loving every minute of it. A Whitehall insider whispers about a mysterious UN operative, with a hidden agenda.
"Everyone's got someone they want you to be afraid of. It'll only take a little push for the situation to erupt - and something is doing the pushing. But you can trust the Doctor to put things right. Can't you?"
The Fearmonger is a well-crafted story set some time after Survival, and pairs a moody Seventh Doctor with a more mature Ace. I've always enjoyed the pairing, and Jonathan Blum's script quickly reminds one of the darker atmosphere of the later TV stories.
Without going into too much detail on the plot, The Fearmonger features several well-acted supporting characters, including a smooth turn by Jacqueline Pearce (who played Chessene in the TV series' The Two Doctors) as the leader of a hard-line political party, backed up well by Hugh Walters as her aide and with a successful turn by Vince Henderson as an obnoxious talk radio presenter, among others. All have their part to play in a scenario in which fear is the ultimate political weapon. And amidst all this, there's the Fearmonger, which is lapping it up.
I like the way the story is styled. The Fearmonger remains mysterious throughout, and often one is left wondering where it is really hiding, if it even exists at all, or if it's just a figment of the characters' imaginations. If I had any complaints around the mid-point of the story (some shocking cliff-hangers by the way!) they would have been that the Fearmonger is a little too intangible, but it is well paid off in episode four in a final twist that you probably won't have been expecting.
The usual high standard of sound design is present, although as the story is set in near-contemporary London it requires less outlandish sound effects and the atmosphere is achieved through subtler effects such as the sound of passing cars or the echoing accoustics of an empty warehouse.
The Fearmonger is definitely one of Big Finish's most stylish stories to date, but then this is only number five...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Ace meet the Fearmonger!, 16 April 2015
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
The Doctor and Ace are back!

This is 'The Fearmonger', a four-part story by Jonathan Blum. It's also the first audio drama by Big Finish to feature Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. I enjoyed listening to this adventure and it feels like the Doctor and Ace have never been away.

The story is set in London 2002, where the Doctor and Peri visit to hunt down an alien menace called the Fearmonger. But a political situation of the New Britannia Party causes the Doctor to suspect as he and Ace track down a would-be assassin in order to solve the mystery.

This story has the feel of the Virgin New Adventures books in 'Doctor Who' that were published in the 1990s. Although I haven't any of those books, I could sense the bolder and more mature feel and atmosphere of those stories, especially as it delves to explore darker territory.

The concept for the Fearmonger is intriguing, as it's a monster that we don't actually see as it feeds on the fear and anger of anyone it comes across. Certain people can hear the Fearmonger's voice inside others as its deep; growling and very evil-like. Ace can hear the voice too.

Jonathan Blum writes really well for the Seventh Doctor and Ace. He mentions in the CD sleeve notes how he longed for their return since their final appearance in 'Survival'. It must have been great for him to write his favourite TARDIS team in their Big Finish audio debut together.

Sylvester McCoy is brilliant as the Doctor. Sylvester's Doctor is the dark, manipulative Doctor and certainly is in the know about what this Fearmonger is despite not knowing what it looks like. He clearly is fond of Ace and is determined to solve the mystery in all avenues concerning people.

Sophie Aldred is equally brilliant as Ace. I enjoy her no-nonsense teenage attitude in this adventure and she's determined to brave on facing the Fearmonger creature on her own. I was shocked when Ace gets shot at the end of Part 2 when she tries to talk a guy out of shooting his gun on her.

In the story, it's been fifteen years since Ace last left Perivale in 1987. This is in relative time as the story is set in 2002 from 1987. This means this story occurs after the Season 27 of Lost Stories ending with 'Earth Aid' and presumably after the early Doctor and Ace stories in the BBC books.

This story features special guest star Jacqueline Pearce as Sherilyn Harper. Jacqueline is well-known in 'Blake's 7' and has appeared in the Colin Baker story 'The Two Doctors'. Here she plays the leader of the New Britannia party, who is being assassinated for what she represents.

There's also Hugh Walters as Roderick Allingham. Hugh appeared twice in 'Doctor Who' in 'The Deadly Assassin' and 'Revelation of the Daleks'. Here he plays Sherilyn Harper's personal secretary. Sherilyn and Roderick sound like a double act, and Roderick seems to know a lot about the Doctor.

This story guest stars Vince Henderson as annoying radio DJ Mick Thompson. Vince happens to be Sophie Aldred's husband in real-life. I thought it was nice Sophie and her hubby worked on an audio together. Ace is mean to Mick Thompson for being loathsome and pig-headed on his radio shows.

The rest of the cast include Mark McDonnell as Walter Jacobs and Mark Wright as Stephen Keyser, the two would-be assassins. The Doctor and Ace contact Walter and try to help him as well as finding out more about he knows in his experience with the Fearmonger when trying to assasinate Harper.

There's also Jonathan Clarkson as Paul Tanner, who happens to be a friend of Ace from Perivale in the story. Paul helps the Doctor and Ace to destroy the Fearmonger by making contact with Walter and joining Harper's campaign to further the Doctor's plans. He also makes contact with Roderick.

I like the final scene between the Doctor and Ace and are truly defining when they interacts with each other. The Doctor shows concern for Ace when she's undergoes a harrowing experience. I won't reveal what it is in case of spoilers as you'll have to find out for yourself.

'The Fearmonger' has been a really enjoyable audio story with the Doctor and Ace. This adventure certainly evokes the Sylvester McCoy era and it's great to hear Sylvester and Sophie together as the TARDIS duo. I'm hoping to listen to more of their audio adventures together.

The CD extras at the end of Disc 2 including trailers for the 'Doctor Who' audio stories 'The Sirens of Time'; 'Phantasmagoria' and 'The Land of the Dead'. There is also a trailer for the continuing adventures of Bernice Summerfield played by Lisa Bowerman.

There's a trailer for the next story with the Doctor and Ace called 'The Genocide Machine'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paranoia, Riots & The Umbrella Man, 9 July 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who :The Fearmonger.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion: Ace.
Main enemy: The Fearmonger.
Main setting: London, 2002.
Writer: Jonathan Blum.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 5.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 110 minutes.

Cast.
The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy.
Ace - Sophie Aldred.
Sherilyn Harper - Jacqueline Pearce.
Stephen Keyser - Mark Wright.
Walter Jacobs - Mark McDonnell.
Mick Thompson - Vince Henderson.
Paul Tanner - Jonathan Clarkson.
Roderick Allingham - Hugh Walters.
Alexsandr Karadjic - Jack Galagher.
Hospital Tannoy Voice - John Ainsworth.

Trivia.
1)This is the first time that Ace's full name, Dorothy McShane, is mentioned in performed Doctor Who.
2)This is the first Big Finish audio drama to take place entirely after the events of (TV: Survival).
3)It has been fifteen years since Ace left Perivale in 1987(TV: Survival).
4)Jacqueline Pearce is perhaps better known as Servalan in cult sci-fi series Blake 7 & Chessene in (Tv: The Two Doctors).

Plot Synopsis.
One would-be assassin is in a mental ward while another's on the run, Their intended victim is stirring up the mobs as Terrorists are planning a strike of their own & a talk-show host is loving every minute of it.

A Whitehall insider whispers about a mysterious UN operative, with a hidden agenda, Everyone's got someone they want you to be afraid of & It'll only take a little push for the situation to erupt & something is doing the pushing.

The Seventh Doctor & Ace fight their way through the prejudices which blind everyone touched by a very particular monster as they face the prospect of the entire world being plunged into a bitter war of mistrust & mutual loathing...But you can trust the Doctor to put things right. Can't you?

Timelord Thoughts.
Writer Jonathan Blum has written a excellent tightly written audio adventure here focusing on a monster that creates paranoia thats gusty in its edgy storytelling.

Actor Sylvester McCoy gives one of his best performances as the Seventh Doctor who skilfully adds his usual mysterious manipulator to event's as they play out here, the Doctor's scenes on the radio opposite Vince Henderson's loathsome Mick Thompson are particularly memorable & brilliantly performed.

While Ace is written in a transitional stage between the end of season 26 & The New Adventures, actress Sophie Aldred delivers a fine performance here coming into her own in the story's final dramatic revelation (Spoilers).

From the opening assassination to terrorist attacks & rioting 'The Fearmonger' kept this listener engaged throughout 110 minutes as the Doctor & Ace are dealing with another alien menace who feeds on the paranoia of humans & yet this story also tackles issues of the class structure of Great Britain & makes clear valid points on racism which is no mean feat in a Doctor Who adventure.

Overall, 'The Fearmonger' is a excellent release only slightly hampered by a slightly abrupt ending, with great performances by Sylvester McCoy & Sophie Aldred a tighly paced script & sparkling dialogue by writer Jonathan Blum makes this another excellent Seventh Doctor audio drama.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fearmonger - Two parts genius, one part panic..., 28 Feb. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the fifth release from Big Finish in their range of audio only adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Sophie Aldred as Ace. There are four episodes, roughly 25 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.

Previous releases in the range had been pretty good and captured the feel of the original TV series, but this release really made me sit up and say WOW! The Doctor and Ace are trying to track down a monster known as the Fearmonger, which hides inside people. As well as a straight monster tale it is also a well done study of the politics of the far right, and the mobs that both oppose and support the extremists. The Doctor must not only find his prey, but counter the various political machinations and tabloid hate stirring. The play boasts a supreme performance from McCoy as Seven as he faces down some of his greatest fears, changing from lighthearted to dark and brooding in a flash, from jester to foreboding in the space of a breath. McCoy gives a totally magnetic performance, backed by a really strong script and excellent direction and production. Also of note is Sophie Aldred as Ace. Her character really developed in the TV series, and she continues that development here as though her 10 year absence had never happened. She just steps right back into the part, and continues to portray an Ace who is still growing and becoming a stronger person every day.

A superb release, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm rather afraid it's pretty good, 22 April 2009
This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Set in a dystopian future where a right-wing political party spreads malice and a sinister creature feeds off the ensuing fear. An interesting twist, strong performances from Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, and a moody score; this is one of those stories that makes you wistful about how much better the TV series could have been if they'd given it another chance back in 1989.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Early Audio!, 21 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I really enjoyed this one. I've been listening to all of the Big Finish audios in audio and this was the first one that really grabbed my attention and held it the entire way through. The story is based around a political party (similar to the EDL or BNP) who are trying to gain power in the UK, but there is a strange creature known as 'The Fearmonger' lurking in the shadows.

For me, the highlight of this story was hearing 7/Ace again. It sounds like no time had passed from 1989 to 2000, and they sound as if they'd never left the TARDIS. Sophie Aldred is one of the few companions who sounds exactly like she did in the original series.

I would give this one another listen!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wickid, 5 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I highly recommend this product and the company that sent it too me very reusable and fast, worth buy for any Dr Who fan.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story with some good twists...., 28 April 2007
This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
When you listen to Sylvester McCoy on audio, its like he never stopped the doctor! Hes such a great actor and he is definitely complimented by Sophie Aldred as Ace, who is my fav tv companion. Shes got guits and doesnt just scream all the time. And i think the Fearmonger is a great story for their reintroduction. Jon Blum has written a classic story here. A good piece on terrorists and an unnamed alien just known as the fearmonger.

Very good twist when all along ive thought the creature was in a different person when it was actually just inside the person hearing it in other peoples voices! Great twist, i really thought uh oh when i heard the ending to the third episode. Ace getting shot is quite nasty too. Some great cliffhangers.

And i like the fact that this story gets going straight away, and doesnt waste time. Quite a few stories take til the end of episode one to get going, but not this one. Maintained twists and action all the way through. Great stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Fearmonger Box Set, 29 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Thank you much. Very pleased
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHO FEARS WINS, 4 May 2013
By 
phillip (Tottenham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This early Big Finish offering places the Seventh Doctor and his tv companion Ace up against then political machinations of a Thatcher type leader of future Britain. But within her rein lies a creature that feeds on fear which is capable of jumping from host to host. A very suburban story that rattles along quite nicely, and whilst fits nicely in the last tv era of Mccoy's tenure, its very generic monster possessing tale 7/10
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The Fearmonger (Doctor Who) by Jonathan Blum (Audio CD - 28 Feb. 2000)
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