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< 13. The Shadow of the Scourge
15. The Mutant Phase >

14. The Holy Terror

Rating Votes
10
59%
126
9
18%
39
8
13%
27
7
4%
9
6
2%
5
5
1%
2
4
2%
4
3
0%
0
2
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1
1
1%
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Average Rating
9.1
Votes
215
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Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 8/27/17 8:34 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Holy Terror is perfect. To be honest, there's little more that I can than that. For the first scene to the last, The Holy Terror is enticing, gripping, funny, clever, dark, twisted and ultimately thought-provoking, but not in a condescending way. It's quite simply one of the best story's that, not only Big Finish have put out, but one of the best things to bare the name Doctor Who.

The Doctor and Frobisher arrive in a castle where it's people follow a set of irrational and downright stupid set of customs and traditions, wrapped in the veil of religion. Now, while at first, this may all seem very flippant and very Douglas Adams-ish in it's subversion, the second half of the story turns the whole thing on it's head. Not only does the story become an awful lot darker, we also see the flip side of the argument. And it's not just for the sake of balance: writer Rob Shearman wants us to understand that, while to some, it may look silly and ridiculous, others derive meaning and purpose out of these arcane rituals, and it's not really our place to judge that. Then, of course, we come to the child: possibly one of the most psychotic and terrifying monster ever encounter by the Doctor. Sam Kelly is fantastic here: I mean all of the guest cast are great, but Kelly is superb as Eugene, a man who's become twisted by his actions to the point where he no longer recognises himself. You do feel sorry for him, despite his actions, and the ending is like a literal stab in the gut. Colin Baker gives one of his best performances as the Doctor, and Robert Jezek is wonderful as Frobisher, to the point where, over the course of a single story, you couldn't imagine any other voice for the character.

While The Holy Terror may have been derided at the time for featuring the 'big talking bird', it's certainly hailed as a classic today. And rightly so: for The Holy Terror is simply divine. It's funny, it's tragic, it's gruesome, it's gripping. It's, quite simply, classic Doctor Who.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
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Reviewed By: thefatdoctorfanReview Date: 8/8/17 3:56 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

"All Hail Frobisher! All Hail The Big Talking Bird!", pretty much sums up the story. It's very dark; whilst being very comedic. The villain was terrifying whilst the cast were all standouts. Frobisher takes the spotlight though. Even though he's in 2 stories, he's one of the best companions. Colin Baker is outstanding as he always is in Big Finish. This one is a joy to behold. I've never been so entertained listenig to a audio adventure for 2 and a half hours than I was whilst listening to this. Top story, one of the must haves for ANY Whovian.
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 4/17/17 9:18 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

One thing that impresses me about this story every time I return to it (and I have returned to it many times over the years) is how seamlessly it manages the transition from comedy to horror. The first episode is utterly delightful, and the last episode is incredibly grim, but it all feels perfectly natural from beginning to end. The comedy works, the horror works, and the transition works.

In addition to that, the story has some really interesting themes involving religion, tradition, fathers and sons, and so on, and it does a fine job of developing those themes.The nature of the story is such that there's not a great deal of room for character growth among the supporting cast, but the script manages to find something for everybody. The fact that the characters become sufficiently aware of their limitations to be dissatisfied by them is a lovely touch. I particularly appreciate Clovis, a Judas-like character who wants to be loyal to his God, but is forced into betraying him anyway by the role he's been given. The final scene between Berengaria and Pepin is also quite touching.

And then of course there's Frobisher, who is simply delightful. Robert Jezek does a great job bringing him to life.
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 6/4/16 1:00 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Doctor Who and religion never really have mixed with very successful results. The Aztecs touched on how religions can become flawed and end poorly and Meglos did the whole science versus religion storyline and wasn’t very good. The Holy Terror sets itself apart from the rest with its writer being Robert Shearman. Shearman is first and foremost a cynic. He likes The Space Museum and knows exactly how to tug at your heartstrings with bleak storytelling and some gutting moments. His first Doctor Who script is mainly a comedy with a lot of biting satire on how religions and even normal people treat tradition as law even when they are quite silly. The plot involves the Doctor and space detective Frobisher landing in this castle where the emperor is the people’s eternal god and if the god dies, anybody still worshiping the previous god has the choice to recant or be executed. This allows Shearman to point out just how crazy people can be going forward to religion by using parodies and caricatures of people to keep us interested. I mean the people eventually worship Frobisher because he’s a big talking bird who appeared with a big blue box. The commentary on human nature is extremely fascinating as everyone falls into these traps and before you know it the laugh out loud comedy changes into a piece of heart wrenching drama about sins of the past. I’d go further into the plot except for the fact that Shearman is famous for his story twists changing the direction of the story.



Where Shearman succeeds the most is with the characters and the best place to start is with Frobisher. Frobisher is a companion from the Doctor Who Magazine comics and just so happens to be a big talking penguin who can also shapeshift. So yeah, why hasn’t this been done before? It would happen partially again with C’rizz, but here it is so good because Frobisher is played up as a clichéd detective which really works within the context of the story. He is played by Robert Jezek who is having a ball with the part and as someone who hasn’t had any exposure to the character, this is a great introduction. I honestly wish Big Finish would have featured the penguin more than he did. Next up is the Doctor who is extremely softened here and Colin Baker is loving every minute of the script. He gets himself embroiled in the mystery of the castle and society as things don’t quite add up. Yes he gets away from Frobisher for most of the play, but the bookends are some of the most entertaining pieces of Doctor Who and should be heard immediately. The supporting characters consist of a bunch of clichés with the power hungry Queen Livilla who is just awful but delightfully so. There’s the emperor Pepin who is a complete wimp throughout the story as he gives his power to Frobisher. There is the backstabbing high priest and the evil hunchbacked younger brother. The most interesting character has to be the scribe Eugene Tacitus played masterfully by Sam Kelly who has the entire story be revolved around him and his past. The main villain of the piece is credited as The Boy and is one of the scariest villains to ever grace Doctor Who. I can’t give too much away as to the fate of the story, but know how good the reveals actually are.



The direction was done by Nicholas Pegg who shows just how different he is compared to Nicholas Briggs and Gary Russell. I can’t quite put my finger on it but after Briggs and Russell this story just feels like a refreshing change of pace. Also the music is beautifully medieval as the setting is a castle and you can really get yourself lost in the setting.