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< 12. The Fires of Vulcan
14. The Holy Terror >

13. The Shadow of the Scourge

Rating Votes
10
12%
15
9
11%
14
8
25%
32
7
25%
33
6
13%
17
5
4%
5
4
10%
13
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.3
Votes
130
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
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No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 9/20/17 5:28 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

At the Pinehill Crest Hotel in Kent, three random events with seemingly no connection are all taking place at the same time. One is a cross-stitch event, quiet and content. Another is a scientific convention based around a time travel experiment. The other one is a New Age spiritualism gathering with a dark motive behind it: to summon the dreaded Scourge to Earth. When the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and archaeologist Bernice Summerfield are pulled in to the commotions, threats come at them from all sides and all angles dark and mysterious. But what is on the Doctor's mind by his actions and this time is he going too far? Minus the horrendously bad cover art (I mean seriously.....it looks like it was photoshopped together in the worst possible way), this is a story that does what future stories such as "Nekromanteia" try (albeit with a very different premise and setting) and succeeds. One of the first stories Big Finish used to step into continuity outside the show, 'Shadow' takes darker and more adult ideas (in this case centered around depression) and tackles them in a very mature way without losing itself to shock and over the top parody as well as existing very well as a great Doctor Who story. The plot starts off relatively inconsequentially but gets bigger and more epic as time goes by and more details are revealed that connect everything together and while the tone is a little bit all over the place with so much going on, the themes and good elements here tie everything together in a way that other stories have a hard time with. There are also a ton of surprises and twists going on here full of drama, humor, and power that makes this one stand out from Big Finish's initial run of stories. Sylvester McCoy is wonderful here and his portrayal of Seven's Machiavellian manipulator is on full display here which has always been his most intriguing quality. From minute 1 of this story, this Doctor knows exactly what is going on and what he has to do with the Scourge to order to save everything. At the same time however, the alien menace this time around have prepared for him and so he's forced to compensate through most of the story in a surprising way that keeps things extremely interesting. His two companions Ace and Benny are great here too in the humorous sarcastic hardass kind of way that really makes this team one that I need to listen to more often. The supporting cast are extremely varied in terms of performance and plot but they all work well for the most part even if it gets a little confusing jumping between all of their conventions at first. The threat of the Scourge is also much more unsettling than Doctor Who usually goes with its one-off monsters and the performances of the cast really sell them as an intimidating foe. Despite a few moments of unevenness and complications that I think come from the nature of where it came from as a story and the fact that it does take a sharp dip in quality after the amazing set up and cliffhanger of the first episode, "Shadow of the Scourge" is a wonderfully dark tale with stronger themes, an engaging menace, and a scheming Seven at his absolute best. Give this one a chance outside of the lackluster cover and synopsis and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 8/27/17 8:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Shadow Of The Scourge represents the first Big Finish release to step into the continuity outside the TV show and their own audios, and it is, for the most part, an affectionate tribute to the New Adventure novels, and, in particular, to the character of Bernice Summerfield.

The whole thing starts like a grand and epic six-part finale: three seemingly random groups of people have been brought together to bring into this universe a race called the Scourge. The whole thing certainly feels like The Invasion Of Time: if The Invasion Of Time was set in a hotel just outside Kent. As the story develops, more and more grand epic scope is added to the story, as the Doctor takes the fight against the Scourge into his own mind. It's at this point, however, that the story does start to trip up: there's just too many ideas here for author Paul Cornell to handle. Ace becomes deaf, but there's no real need to worry, it can be fixed in the TARDIS later. The Scourge take over the Doctor, but he defeats them anyway, after spending the better half of the third and fourth episodes trapped in his own mind. There's just too much going on here, which isn't helped by a couple of the actors sounding very similar, meaning it can be hard to track who is speaking at any one time.

The Shadow Of The Scourge is definitely entertaining (particularly the first episode), but it could be so much more. That said, if you love the New Adventures, this is definitely a story that will appeal to you.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JacobzReview Date: 5/24/17 7:58 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Fantastic. Seven at his most chessmaster-y. Bernice is hilarious. The writing is great. Love it.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 4/16/17 10:16 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story has always been very near and dead to my heart. First of all, I was a huge fan of the Virgin New Adventures from the very beginning. Not only does this story feature the unbeatable team the seventh Doctor, so-called New Ace, and Professor Bernice Summerfield, but it was written by Paul Cornell, who wrote several of the very best NAs, including the book that introduced Benny in the first place. This story is no mere pastiche, but rather a loving recreation of the NA style into the audio format. Ok, maybe it's a bit of a pastiche...

Second of all, this story is about depression, and that's something I've struggled with for my entire life. This story captures better than I ever could what my depression feels like to me. It's not just a matter of sadness, but rather that all-pervading feeling that you'll never truly be happy because, at the end of the day, you really don't deserve to be. It's that absolute certainty that things are never going to get any better. This story captures all of that, packages it into the form of hideous alien monsters, and then unleashes Ace on them. It's wonderfully cathartic.