5. The Fearmonger


The fifth adventure in Big Finish‘s main range of Doctor Who audios, The Fearmonger, uses the political backdrop of an upcoming election to introduce a new alien “monster”.

The cover photo suggests some kind of politically-heavy right-wing bashing storyline but what we get is a somewhat confused meandering story of the Doctor taking the full duration to uncover an alien “monster”, with just the occasional political comment.

A madman can “hear” an alien monster, an assassin targets the leader of a political party, and the Doctor, with Ace, is there to uncover what’s really going on.

There isn’t a huge lot more to the adventure than that.  The four episodes consist largely of the Doctor telling the madman that he isn’t mad, eventually making up a name for whatever the alien is, and the final showdown between the Doctor and Ace as they try to work out which of them the alien is controlling.  The madman, the Doctor, Ace, Sherilyn Harper (a very Servalan-like Jacqueline Pearce), the radio show host, Harper’s most trusted aide, or someone else?

The Fearmonger probably isn’t the adventure you’ll pick up for a second listen, but there’s nothing actually wrong with it.  The writer makes occasional political comments thanks to the rising political machinations, but nothing too heavy despite what the cover photo might suggest.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are excellent in recapturing their late-80s personas, allowing the listener to drop right back into the classic TV series, but this can’t be considered one of Big Finish‘s better offerings.