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< 106. The Dark Husband
108. Assassin in the Limelight >

107. The Haunting of Thomas Brewster

Rating Votes
10
10%
11
9
22%
24
8
45%
50
7
11%
12
6
6%
7
5
4%
4
4
3%
3
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.0
Votes
111
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 3/23/16 8:24 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

If Charles Dickens wrote a Doctor Who story it would have been better than this.

There is no escaping the fact that Thomas Brewster and his background stand as clichés collected together and inspired by the myriad of 19th century stories involving orphans and work houses. Dickens used these sorts of characters before they became clichés rather than after.
Sadly, in addition to being a walking cliché, or perhaps even because of it; Brewster is an uninteresting, even unlikeable character. The story is all about him and fails to generate empathy leaving the story flat. More than that, the Doctor and Nyssa have small parts in the story that are driven by the empathy they have for Brewster which feels hollow.
Another supporting character, Robert McIntosh is so lifeless and uninteresting that the emotional turmoil he must deal with in the third episode comes off as a few tired resolutions and a sacrifice that makes no sense.

There is some technical merit in the story. There are some interesting moments in the use of time travel, but the core story is not good enough to carry it. The main character is unlikeable and the villains of the piece are rather weak. The background of the enemies as described by the Doctor does not even fit with the Doctor's own explanation of changing future events. There is very little that sits well.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 5/31/15 9:59 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This story features the Doctor's first encounter with Thomas Brewster, a Victorian street urchin with a background right out of a Charles Dickens novel or several of them. The story manages to glide quite easily between genres telling a tale that alternates between being a ghost story, a mystery, and a very hard science fiction/time travel story.

The story of Thomas Brewster is well told with John Pickard turning in a solid and charming performance. There are a few good moments between the Doctor and Nyssa that show the strong chemistry the two possess as they gently tease each other. I only wish wish there was picture of the Fifth Doctor growing facial hear as described. I also liked how his relationship with his assistant takes a turn that calls to mind recent event. The story has a good sense of mystery that's built throughout that makes for an intriguing tale.


On the negative side, I really did feel Thomas Brwester dominated the story where the Doctor and Nyssa were almost relegated to the role of guest stars in their own series. The ending to the mystery of Thomas' life is a bit dodgy as well.

The music was a bit intrusive. The pseudo-Dickensian synthesizer music works in small doses but it's really overused and it's the same bit of music repeatedly used as a bridge between scenes.

Still, the ending to the CD makes a nice cliffhanger and again Pickard makes this character someone the audience can care about. It's okay story even though it does shove the Doctor and main companion to the side.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 1/14/15 8:02 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Ok this is one of those that you will certainly need to listen to carefully as towards the last half of the story, you will need to keep your wits about you as the Doctor and Nyssa, explain the infinite calculations of which TARDIS is where and which TARDIS that they are actually in. However back to the first part of the story. The story starts at a funeral, the death of a young boys mother, through suicide, we learn, and the people friends of the deceased are deciding on the women's now orphaned boy, as to what fate should befall him. As the story is based around the Edwardian era it does have a certain Dickens feel to the story. In fact one could be forgiven for thinking that this is a remake of the Oliver tale, with the idea of the lad once he has left the workhouse having to work as a mudlark (river thief) on the Thames and working for a father figure like Fagin, however this is were the similarity ends, as it soon becomes apparent that the boy himself is having visitation from his dead mother, or is it his mother. For the dead mother seems to want the boy to create a very futuristic machine in fact one very similar to the TARDIS. The story is afoot.

The Doctor and Nyssa land into a turmoil created by the passing of the Thomas Brewster mother, as it creates a time disruption that has to resolve by the Doctor becoming part of the scientific community of London, in order to obtain parts to repair the TARDIS which is now broken due to the previous issues. It is also apparent that Thomas Brewster wants the TARDIS as well, or at lest the ability to travel in time.
The story is a bridge in some repects to something else and leaves you with a question mark at the end, one I hope that is answered and not left up in the air.

Peter and Sarah are as ever the perfect couple and once again you can hear that the Doctor as advanced the character of the 5th Doctor again, and he comes across as a more than he ever was on TV. High quality detailed and entertaining drama here. Well worth the time to listen
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: shooglenReview Date: 7/6/14 12:37 pm
4 out of 5 found this review helpful.

A very enjoyable story, Dickensian in tone and setting - something I would listen to again, which for me with BF audios, is the definitive factor for how good it is. Even minor characters came across with a fair amount of depth, by which I mean they got to deliver some lines that were more revealing of their personality and less strictly info-dump/advance-the-plot type. My only niggle is that I didn't care for the music that much, and there were interludes of music between scenes that I thought went on for too long. I think that between-scenes music ultimately affected my perception of the pace of the story. But overall, a solid story with well-enacted characters and good immersive sound production. Would recommend.