Another vote for Chimes. I think both stories are among the most absolutely best things Big Finish has ever produced. So to choose between them, I'm reduced to splitting hairs. Chimes wins because I like Eight more than Six, I like the winter setting more, and because it has a more consistent tone throughout. It has a mix of creepy and black humour from the get-go, whereas Holy Terror shifts from all silly to all scary, more or less.
Really, though the question of which one's better is like asking who is the smartest genius?
For me, it has to be The Holy Terror. I just think it is a darkly comic masterpiece.
Released in 2000, just before 9/11 - it is a clever satire on so many aspects, particularly religion and doctrines of religious beliefs. The wonderful scenes with Tactius where he tells the Doctor that 'we do this because it 'has' always been done so' even if it is a bit ridiculous and stupid hit the nail on the head about so much that goes on in society that is just stupid/foolish. The 'sacred books' becoming thinner and thinner is also a great scene.
The actual subject matter is quite dark and that makes it uncomfortable. But it is handled in such a good way and acted brilliantly - Baker and Kelly are amazing in those final scenes. This is the Sixth Doctor story we should have got on TV - it is Sawardian in the sense that the content is dark and unpleasant, but the Doctor is always anchored and never loses his moral compass. Whilst we want to condemn Tactius as a brute, the Doctor shows it is a bit more complex than that - a man who is forced to live the same punishment over and over again.
The guest cast are also well rounded as well. I couldn't believe it when I read that this story was initially quite a poor seller (may have been due to coming before a Dalek story and after a NA story?) Really wish this one had been remade for TV also - Ten would do well in this I think (or Twelve). I can also see Thirteen doing this as a solo or with one companion.
Ironically, this was the story that brought me back to BF. I'd not followed for a long while and was cleaning up and saw the CD of this story and registered. I've never looked back since, so that makes it quite special.
'Well now I know you're mad. I just wanted to make sure."
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