First released in 2009, this is the third episode of the third season of standalone releases for Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor outside of the monthly range of Big Finish releases. This is a one disc release, with two 25 minute episodes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the disc.
This range has had its ups and downs, and I am pleased to report that this is definitely one of the ups. The Doctor and Lucie arrive in the German Black Forest in the early 19th Century. Just, it seems, as the legendary Beast of Orlock and the local evil Baron are returning to the region after long absences. What follows is an exceedingly fun tale with some dark moments that draws on the Brothers Grimm and the Dracula and Frankenstein legends. I don’t want to go into plot details for fear of giving anything away, but for a fan of the old Universal and Hammer horror films such as myself this was a wealth of delights. Added to which is a simply brilliant performance from both McGann and Smith, who relish the humour and darkness of the script. McGann in particular has some fun, especially at the cliffhanger ending to episode one, where he seems to be as frightened of the bad pun uttered by his adversary as by hid impending doom. This one also has a great supporting cast with star turns from Peter Guiness and Miriam Margoyles.
A classic addition to the range, 5 stars.