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< X. The Five Companions
Trial of the Valeyard >

XI. Night of the Stormcrow

Rating Votes
10
14%
9
9
11%
7
8
33%
22
7
23%
15
6
14%
9
5
6%
4
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Average Rating
7.7
Votes
67
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 1/28/19 8:55 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A collision in the vortex brings the TARDIS to an Earth observatory where a celestial terror made of literal darkness has been summoned to envelop the world. It's a great concept and premise to start out with but Marc Platt's "Night of the Stormcrow" ends up surprising in quality and strength in more ways than one. I'm not sure why Doctor Who doesn't visit observatories/planetariums more often. But something about the setting combined with some big higher-end concepts than you usually get from a base-under-siege story really ended up tickling my fancy. The script is a great mix of horror/sci-fi that this era of Doctor Who really nailed at it's better moments and the scale and scope of it is really interesting.

The cast of this one also really stand out as well. Baker's Fourth Doctor is great as usual, Jameson as Leela gets a lot to do including inheriting one of Four's lines and actions in a way that made me smile, and the rest of the cast is surprisingly fascinating with multiple layers under each one that makes them more than the usual side cast stereotypes. This is a cast with some real depth to them than just good and bad archetypes which again I wasn't expecting and it all adds so much more to the proceedings beyond being just a standard Fourth Doctor / Leela adventure.

Though some smaller elements such as bad audio in places, some basic plot elements, and one particularly obnoxious side character do stand out and keep it from perfection, "Night of the Stormcrow" is an adventure that's infinitely better than it has any right to be. I went in expecting a fun Four / Leela story and came out getting exactly what I wanted and more but I wasn't expecting a new Fourth Doctor favorite to shine out underneath it's a lackluster status as a freebie for subscribers and separate from the main lines. It's a great tale, one that deserves to be recognized more, and well worth the time and money to check out.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/15/15 5:09 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

'Night of the Stormcrow' was initially only released to Big Finish subscribers in December 2012, before going on general release on 18th December 2013, and features a group of scientific researchers tracking an object in a low orbit around the Earth. An object they have nicknamed 'Stormcrow'. The Doctor and Leela are heading for Earth at the time but are forced to land on Mount Kerry due to an unexplained blast of static energy. They decide to look around, and upon discovering the scientists decide to lend a hand. It's essentially a ghost story with a definite Hinchcliffe vibe to it. The Stormcrow spreads symbiotic voids, or as the Doctor calls them, "No Things." They try to eat people out of existence, and take over the physicality of the characters. They live in the dark and light repels them. The characters find themselves increasing isolated as the Stormcrow eats the land around them. This production was directed by Nick Briggs and written by Marc Platt.

Jamie Robertson's orchestral music mixed with more modern sounds manages to lend this a mysterious and eerie atmosphere. In fact, I would even go as far as to say it's one of my favourite Big Finish scores. The effects are also pretty amazing, and help make for a memorable and stimulating production. In terms of performances there is no obvious weak link. This is probably the best audio performance I have heard from both Louise and Tom. Some of Tom's best acting in his TV days was in 'Leisure Hive' and 'Meglos' where he played possessed or drastically altered versions of the Doctor. In this story the Doctor is possessed briefly and Tom does a marvellous job. Leela also gets a fine comedy moment with Jelly Babies. The supporting cast are all superb so I won’t take the time single them out, but rest assured they are all commendable.

It taps into a near universal fear, or at least slight discomfort of the dark and the unknown. My only slight complaint is that Erica seems to just snap out of her possession, which doesn't seem terribly realistic, but it doesn't matter. Just like 'Trial of the Valeyard' in the same range there is lots of rich detail, excellent acting and a decent narrative. They both feel like Big Finish has done their absolute best to deliver a quality audio production.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 8/6/15 10:16 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Night of the Stormcrow is just superb. It's one of Marc Platt's best script and also one of the best Fourth Doctor stories for Big Finish.

Platt stories can occasionally run off the rails when his great imagination gets out of control and he comes up with way too many concepts or goes too far out there. Here though, it's just perfect. The Stormcrow is a terrifying and imaginative concept, yet with a bit of poetry to it. It's wonderfully focused and engaging. In essence, the story combines the atmosphere of, "The Horror of Fang Rock" with the imagination of, "Ghost Light."

It really helps that he really has a great feel for the Fourth Doctor and Leela. I adored the scene where Leela offered Trevor a jelly baby.

The acting is wonderful with strong performances from the main cast, and some solid guest performances. Ann Bell is wonderful as Gesima Cazalet, the Professor who discovered Stormcrow and is determined to stop the Doctor taking credit. This story also features Chase Masterson's Big Finish debut as university official Peggy Brooks.

Overall, a wonderful story that shouldn't be missed.