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"The Crawling Terror" is an action-packed outing for the 12th Doctor and Clara set in the middle of the English countryside. Mike Tucker's portrayal of the regulars is spot on, really capturing the spirit of their relationship. There is quite a large supporting cast, which means there are plenty of plot developments throughout. Most of the characters are very well defined, so it isn't too difficult to keep track of everybody's motives and what they are currently up to.
The story struck me as comperatively brutal (by NuWho standards, that is!) and there is a lot of suspense and tension in this tale. The image of the idyllic English countryside is flipped on its head as the peaceful little village is turned into a nightmarish base-under-siege that is terrorised by horrible, oversized insect-monsters. A couple of rather unexpected deaths make this story feel immediately dangerous.
The adventure is embedded into a particular historical context, which did stretch my willingness to suspend disbelief quite a bit and which is my main issue with this release. Still, it has to be said, that all the various little plot elements fall neatly into place eventually, making for a satisfying ending.
Having a Scottish actress read a story set in a small village in the English countryside seems something of an odd choice, since the only person described as speaking with a Scottish accent is the Doctor. That said, Neve McIntosh is a delight to listen to. She gets both Clara's and the Doctor's inflections really well and imbues the whole story with life and emotion. Her delivery and pacing are excellent throughout, which makes this highly engaging to listen to. There is some incidental music (mostly between chapters or individual scenes) and a couple of sound effects for the sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS dematerialising, but beyond that there is no audio landscape.
"The Crawling Terror" is a suspensful base-under-siege story which ties in perfectly with series 8. Recommended.