Synopsis 1934: the TARDIS lands on a snowy island off the coast of Alaska – one that wasn’t there four years, three months and six days ago, according to the Doctor. The island is dominated by a vast, twisted citadel. Inside it, the Lurkers lie dreaming. It's said when they wake the world will end…
Led by the ruthless Emerson Whytecrag, an expedition has come to the citadel to exploit the horrors in its ebon-dark interior. Horrors just like those published in the pages of the pulp magazine Shuddersome Tales, where a hero's only reward is madness, death… or worse.
Horrors that the Doctor and his companion are about to wake up.
Written By: Marty Ross Directed By: Ken Bentley
CAST Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Michael Brandon (CP Doveday), Kate Terence (Dr Freya Gabriel), Stuart Milligan (Emerson Whytecrag), Alex Lowe (Professor August Corbin), Sam Clemens (Slade), Duncan Wisbey (Captain Akins)
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And if you want to follow the Doctor, we've also got Robophobia starting this week. If you want to follow Ace and Hex, we pick up their story next week with Protect and Survive.
I like this story. After the incredible experience that is A Death in the Family, a nice little self-contained story is nice to have. Arguably it's the last Hex story until Shadow Planet/World Apart that is very light on necessary continuity (this period is about to get very arc heavy). It's steeped in HP Lovecraft, from the Mountains of Madness to a character realising they aren't human. It is very on the nose, but it's a different variation on the unknowable creature from the dawn of time trope the Seventh Doctor encountered a lot.
What's interesting with this whole trilogy is Hex and the marketing. The Angel of Scutari ended with Hex being shot, and that was June 2009. The original cover for A Death in the Family had the Word Lord instead of Hex, so it could have appeared that he may have died in Project: Destiny, since that was a major episode in his story arc or been the titular Death in the Family. For this story he's not mentioned in the synopsis nor does he appear in the trailer.
I liked the story for its ambitious approach and Lovecraftian atmosphere, but disliked the confusing geography, that is, the movement of the characters from location to location was not well handled.
Something else that does crop up is Say What You See dialogue, such as the point where Ace and the Doctor get separated from Hex. Ace is literally screaming "ITS A GRENADE!" (especially with sound design involved, when it comes to dialogue less is more). Marty Ross's other stories don't suffer too bad, but the last one was a Companion Chronicle yet he improves with his next one (Dress Me in Dark Dreams from the Dark Shadows range).
Hex has a great line in the last episode when he's going to be sacrificed to the Karnos Koi, where he asks Whytecrag if he should be wearing white, because that ship has sailed. Hex's love life has not been explored, and won't be for another few stories.
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this Tale is one I revisit quite a lot Cold freezing conditions isolation and a great cast of characters. I think it is lower in the ranks because of the preceding tale Death In The Family but when taken as a tale out of that arc it sits very very well.I like Marty ross as a writer he did a companion chronicle Nights Black Agents and Dress Me in Dark Dreams for Dark Shadows both excellent stories (IMO) Dress Me in particular.I do hope he returns to writing duties the more the merrier for variety.Stuart Milligan and Michael Brandon both great actors seem to relish their roles nd the sound design is as usual superb at conjuring the scene. I think it would be a superb opener for a trilogy if you haven’t tried it definitely give it a go it’s an entertaining enough tale and Sylvester is on a roll as he had been excellent in each of the releases...he is in mysterious dark Doctor mode...In fact I have actually played it more than A Death In The Family
Has some issues I’ll grant you as a story but it’s certainly a far better pastiche of At the Mountains of Madness then say The Roof of the World.
I just finished the night before a beautiful wee ghost story THIN AIR-Michelle Paver-narrated by Daniel Weyman so I had the benefit of the isolated coldness that that story had implanted when I relistened
It was due a relisten . I enjoy it so much cold isolated settings and no mention of previous continuity just a solid tale for the DoctorAce and Hex.It has a top notch cast apart from the regulars.its one of those stories that i think should have came before Death In The Family and not after it.Hex gets a lot of action in this and proves himself more than capable of coping with Ace and the Doctors way of life.Would be nice to hear more from Marty Ross
TBH I find all of the post-arc stories with Hex to be a bit... redundant. I kinda think BF should've just moved on instead of hopping back and forth in the timeline. Ah, well, at least Hex is a pretty good companion.
Anyway, I listened to this one on... a very bad day. I have very little memory of the first episode because it took me a good four hours to get through, and I had hydrocodone in me (which ****ing suuuuucks). So I wound up being confused by several things--most notably how Hex wound up getting separated from the Doctor in the first place. I was also confused by the references to "the guy with the scythe," because that language just feels... extremely contrived. It often made me wonder if there was some character in the background wandering around with a big metal blade. Weird.
But even with my ability to pay attention hobbled, I found this to be a very fun story. Lovecraftian Horror is a genre that just... tends to be very difficult to pull off outside of prose. It's especially impossible in a visual medium (I've only ever seen one exception, and if you've played Bloodborne you know what I mean) but in an audio format? Hoo boy, it's very effective!
Much of which is down to the voice acting and sound effects/filters. You really get the sense--evoked through precious little--that Doveday is a conduit for some monstrous, eldrich horror. With no visual component--and no expositional text--we're literally blind. We have to imagine everything, and it's in that realm of imagination where Lovecraftian horror best takes root.
I am so glad I listened Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge (long) after The Lovecraft Invasion--otherwise I think my expectations for the latter would've been set too high to really enjoy it.
Quote of the story: "I want you to remember the taste of Hot Dogs."
The premise was also really fun: an asylum where all of the staff masquerade as patients, just to create a non-threatening environment for the one dangerous person? That's just a lovely inversion.
Also before I go I gotta comment on just how much better Hex seems to be when he's by himself. When not stuck playing second-fiddle to Ace and third-fiddle to the Doctor, he's a bit of a badass. I think I may have to rank this one right up there with The Angel of Scutari as my favorite Hex story--for now at least.
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