Bringing the TARDIS to a costal spot in the early 1900s, ‘The Darkness of Glass’ begins with the tone of a very traditional Doctor Who tale for the Fourth Doctor and Leela.
Leaving K-9 behind, the time travellers find themselves knocking on the door of an isolated castle and joining members of The Caversham Society, enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the life of a famed Lanternist – one who claimed to have conjured a demon before he died in mysterious circumstances.
With guests soon being bumped off and a return path to the TARDIS temporarily lost, the Doctor finds himself forced to solve the century old riddle of the castle’s stained glass windows in order to survive the night.
Tracking an elusive foe, Louise Jameson gets plenty of opportunity to flex Leela’s hunting musclesand Justin Richards’ script is on the nail with some perfectly crafted banter for her and Tom Baker.
Guest stars include Mark Lewis Jones (Game of Thrones) as Professor Mortlake, and Big Finish’s own Steed, Julian Wadham, as Holman the Lanternist.
There’s also a terrific role for Sinead Keenan (Being Human, ‘The End of Time’) as Holman’s inquisitive assistant Mary Summersby who ends up aiding the Doctor and her brother, Rory Keenan rounds out the cast.
Rooted firmly in the supernatural rather than the scientific, this is an absorbing and spooky tale which employs some clever misdirection to keep you guessing both the motives and identity of the villain.
The well-constructed denouement of the story put us in mind of ‘Tooth and Claw’ from David Tennant’s first season, although this manages to add a brilliantly unsettling final note rather than Davies’ jokey one.
Extras: Fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew in which Louise Jameson pinpoints the tone as a cross between ‘Fang Rock’ and ‘Weng-Chiang’.
Released in February 2015 by Big Finish.
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