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< 78. Pier Pressure
80. Time Works >

79. Night Thoughts

Rating Votes
10
27%
36
9
16%
22
8
23%
31
7
21%
28
6
7%
9
5
4%
5
4
1%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
1%
1
Average Rating
8.1
Votes
135
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 7/18/18 10:16 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Spooky atmospheric tale , good characters and a nice time twist.
This tale is particularly dark and I always love dark which goes excellently well with number seven.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 3/8/18 5:55 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

If you couldn't tell immediately from the synopsis alone, "Night Thoughts" is another extremely dark Seventh Doctor story along the lines of "Red" and "No Man's Land" which I've reviewed in the past. Unusual in being a lost story from the Seventh Doctor era that was adapted for the main range as opposed to the usual 'Lost Stories line', it takes a considerably different direction from the prior two stories in telling a tale straight out the darkest visions of our imagination and feels like something you'd listen to on a cold and stormy night. It puts me most in mind of several Seventh Doctor stories "Ghost Light" and even the audio story "Master" albeit without the focus on the titular classic villain. With the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Hex trapped in a lonely mansion with five academics behaving oddly and Seven being seemingly affected by something in the darkness, it's something out of the darkest version of 'Clue' you could possibly ask for as one of them is almost immediately killed. Everyone is under suspect with extremely dark circumstances, secrets, and surprises coming out of the wood work that shocked even me as a listener. The darker themes and images this story touches on of euthanasia, suicide, gruesome touches with sulfuric acid, a lake lifted from The Dead Marshes from "The Lord of the Rings", and whistling hauntings straight out of the creepiest nightmares all of which are very maturely handled and extremely affecting. Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor sounds very tired and world weary like the blackness of the situation is actually affecting him and his performance which some might see as a flaw but I see as extremely appropriate. He definitely knows more than he's letting on from the start which is so perfect for his incarnation and he again works well in his role in the story. Ace continues to be good backed with Sophie Aldred's charisma and charm but here she's definitely the weak spot in such a strong cast and some of her lines and actions did grate on me a little bit with this one. She seemed more often than not more suited to break the atmosphere rather than enhance it and this definitely isn't one of her stronger stories. Philip Olivier's Hex once again stands out as a very empathizable and relatable presence for the listener to hold on to with a sense of humor that manages to hilariously annoy some of the other characters that works brilliantly when it needs to. The side cast is also surprisingly good with the standout character being Lizzie Hopley as the young Sue with her creepy voice, bipolar-ish personality, and unsettling stuffed rabbit that seems to have a personality all of its own but I also enjoyed the dignified Bursar (Joanna McCallum), the kindly lady Deacon (Ann Beach), and the grumpy Major Dickens (Bernard Kay) whom Hex really doesn't end up getting along with. Every character however is complex and extremely intriguing and they all end up surprising you in some form in all of the worst ways. While these strengths are extremely strong for this story, there are one or two problems here that do keep it from being amazing. It can be very hard to follow at times and I had to repeat a lot of tracks at points just to keep things on track in my mind. The overall mystery and ending also stumbles quite little bit with more technobabble than I would've liked spoiling what had been set up a little bit. But the strengths of this are so very strong that I can give this one a pass for the most part. Combine all of this with a weird soundtrack of creepy sounds and dignified piano keys with mellow tones and lower notes hinting at the dark nature of the tale and it all makes "Night Thoughts" an absolutely unsettling joy. More than once the soundscape, plot, atmosphere, and characters sent a major chill up my spine (including the side characters which never really happens with these kinds of audios) and it keeps your morbid interest scaring you until the very end. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 9/1/17 3:33 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This is another story that has only grown on me over the years. I find that's true of quite a lot of Big Finish stories. I don't know why that should be. The downside is that it always feels like Big Finish isn't as good as it used to be, because the newer stories haven't had a chance to grow on me yet.

If I'm not mistaken, I think this story was originally written for television, making this a sort of "Lost Story" long before Big Finish started releasing unproduced television scripts under that banner. I can't help wondering what this story would have been like on television. For one thing, it wouldn't have had Hex (which would have been a shame, as the Ace/Hex relationship is especially well done here). But it's also a rather gruesome story, which I think works better in audio.

It's also a very atmospheric story, and it's often cited as one of the most frightening stories Big Finish has ever produced. I'm not a particular fan of horror, so a frightening story isn't a particular draw for me, but this story deserves its reputation. It's very atmospheric, very creepy, and it creates a wonderful sense of the macabre. The story gets pretty grim in places, but it's never gratuitous, and it doesn't infulge in cheap, shock tactics.

The cast is very strong, especially Bernard Kay as Major Dickens, who gives an outstanding performance. Bernard Kay has always been one of my favorite classic series guest starts, and I couldn't wish for a better role for him than this. Dickens is not a very sympathetic character, but neither is he a straightforward baddie, and that's what I like about him. He's easy to hate, because he's a genuinely disagreeable person, but his motives are at least defensible, at least in his own mind. He's the kind of villain who would be appalled to discover that he is a villain.

The story takes some very surprising turns, and there's one especially chilling cliffhanger. This is a great listen for one of those cold, lonely, rainy nights.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/30/17 3:33 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor, Ace, and Hex find themselves at a Scottish castle full of guilt-ridden academics as well as buried secrets.

This is a very solid outing. In style, it's a classic old house Horror mystery that has some real creepy and haunting moments. The guest cast performs quite nicely particularly Lizzy Hopely as Sue.

Both companions were solid. Hex showed some new competence and Ace seemed to find a good balance. Her, "Call me McShane" era hadn't quite worked. I like how she worked her name into her introduction but still was called Ace. It shows her as an adult rather than trying to be an adult.

While this is a fairly standard sci-fi Horror story, it's quite enjoyable and well put together for what it is.