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Winter for the Adept
on 23 April 2015
This is a full cast audio adventure released by Big Finish. It is one of Big Finish’s early audio releases, first released in 2000, and only number 10 in the Main Range series, which is now about to reach the 200 mark. The relatively new experience of these audio adventures comes across a bit in the finished product, where sometimes things are ‘told’ us more often than perhaps they need to be – while it may be difficult to project some experiences through a purely audio experience, I think sometimes there was a bit more telling by the characters than the audience strictly needed. But that’s my only quibble.
The story is set in the Swiss Alps in 1963. At a finishing school there, run by the redoubtable Miss Tremayne, the girls are taught well, but live frugally – it’s good for the soul, as Miss Tremayne would tell them. As the Christmas holidays draw near, two girls, together with Miss Tremayne and Mademoiselle Maupassant, the school French teacher, are caught at the school by a severe winter storm and snowed in. They are joined by a policeman, Lt. Peter Sandoz, and a rather chilly Nyssa, who was asked by the Doctor to hold a piece of equipment and found herself “accidentally teleported” to the middle of the snow. Needless to say, she’s not impressed by this, and when the Doctor eventually appears, doesn’t hesitate to let him know.
The school is experiencing some odd poltergeist-like activity, but once the Doctor starts to investigate, he finds that there is a lot more going on than just pianos playing themselves, or wardrobes moving across the hall. (Great sound effects on the piano, by the way, I loved the way it sounded as it chased the Doctor and Nyssa down the corridoor.)
This is a great story; what starts off as a fairly straightforward “is it a ghost?” story turns into something far more sinister and layered, and then even more sinister and layered. The guest stars do a great turn (including India Fisher as the aptly named Peril), and it was nice to hear Peter Jurasik as the policeman, when to me he was much more familiar in his role as Ambassador Londo in Babylon 5. Great stuff, highly recommended.