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

14. The Holy Terror

Rating Votes
10
57%
117
9
18%
37
8
13%
27
7
4%
9
6
2%
5
5
1%
2
4
2%
4
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Average Rating
9.0
Votes
204
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 4/17/17 9:18 pm
0 out of 0 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.
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Reviewed By: PolarityReversalReview Date: 2/11/16 12:34 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This has to be my favorite of any of the Big Finish adventures that I have had the pleasure of listening to. Now keep in mind, your opinion may differ based on your tastes obviously. For me the key here was the humor and what just seemed like absurdity that turns into darkness that turns into a helluva twist. As previous reviews had mentioned, it does seem like this story transforms from the way it starts to the way it finishes. Frobisher was a great side step in this adventure as well. Imagine a big talking bird coming out of a big blue box in front of a bunch of people looking for a god and what the reactions would be. The villain is probably one of the most evil characters and balances the comedy so well. I highly suggest listening to it, but before you do, look up who Frobisher the talking penguin is or some of this will be difficult to make sense of.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
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Replay Rating:
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Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/1/15 8:32 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The TARDIS throws a strop and sets Six and Frobisher down in a castle during the coronation of the new ruler, who is having some doubts as to his suitability to ascend to the throne. Set in a Transylvania like world it casts a critical eye over Religion and Dogma. 'The Holy Terror' by Rob Shearman is a horror comedy laden with Python-esque humour. It starts off as a cross between 'Dracula' and 'Life of Brian', but finishes as something completely different and surreal. The first scene is very funny but the story gradually moves more into horror and by the end it's something else completely. Being comedy caricatures and irredeemably evil some of the performances and side characters are a little over the top but that's ok. It’s a bit of a panto like 'The One Doctor' and it should be revelled in. It’s truly unique and bizarre. There are family feuds and Power struggles; murder and retribution. Dark and funny this is miles better (and funnier), it’s not just silly voices like the 'The Maltese Penguin'. Watch out for the poignant ending, it sneaks up on you