The Shadow of the Scourge (#13)

Big Finish Main Range

The mental powers of the Doctor are finally shown off to a good degree here. Benny steps inside his mind, sees a vast cavern where she accidentally kicks a stray thought off of the cliff. Wow. Go Paul Cornell, who co-wrote Seasons of Fear and Circular Time. Circular Timeis one of the best audios of 2007—a 5 out of 5 jelloids, that’s for sure. Mr. Cornell sure knows how to do the emotional wrangling of the Doctor and his companions, no matter what Doctor they throw at him! His audios have been done by Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, and Peter Davison. Throw Nyssa in with Peter Davison and you’ve got some seriously good writing and acting going on. And possibly directing but I’ve never been able to figure out how you can tell that…

Anywho, this is a very good audio drama in general. Dire fates, super-powerful bad guys, and a lot of running around with no idea how to stop the bad guys until the last minute. Nice planning happening Doctor but no dice—they saw through it all! Gave it the ole college try but they headed you off at the pass. J I really like how the companions each have their own thing to do and manage to accomplish their own, independent actions towards the rock-em sock-em ending. The Doctor figures it all out in the end by out-thinking the bad guys, on a certain level, and just understanding the good guys and the bad guys on a more basic level. Maybe all of that experience doing bad things gives him just a lot more insight into the soul of others?

The other actors do a bang-up job, too. The final showdown is all inspirational and a little cheesy, but very moving, too. There’s a little bit of the Scourge in all of us, when we feel like we don’t deserve something good. The guilt by association, the feeling we’re never good enough, those types of feelings are all part of the Scourge. At least that’s how the story goes… J It just works as an action-packed story. The ultimate monster meets our ultimate hero. He’s both hated and loved by millions across the universe but it’s always the negative that plagues him, making him the ultimate vessel for the Scourge. This audio would make a great TV show, too. So one of the first true classics of the Big Finish audios, and only lucky number 13 of the lot! I don’t always consider listening to this one when I think of the really good stories but I always walk away from the story satisfied and entertained. What more could a girl want?

Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Lisa Bowerman

Writer: Paul Cornell

Director: G-Russell

Release: October 2000

Laura Vilensky 2019