Night Thoughts is the sole story written by Edward Young and features the Seventh Doctor in a dark tale of horror that tangles Ace and Hex in its web. Yet another tale set in a remote house full of eccentrics how well does this story work?
Starting, as always, with the Big Finish product page we learn:
‘I warn you, things could get very nasty here before they get better.’
A remote Scottish mansion. Five bickering academics are haunted by ghosts from their past. Reluctantly they offer shelter to the Doctor and his companions Ace and Hex.
Hex, already troubled by a vivid nightmare, is further disturbed by the nighttime appearance of a whistling, hooded apparition.
Ace tries to befriend the young housemaid, Sue. Sue knows secrets. She knows why the academics have assembled here, and she knows why they are all so afraid. But Sue’s lips are sealed, preferring to communicate through her disturbing toy, Happy the Rabbit.
And then the killing begins. Gruesome deaths that lead the Doctor and his friends to discover the grisly truth behind the academics’ plans, and as the ghosts of the past become ghosts of the present to recognise that sometimes death can be preferable to life.
With many elements of horror including the wonderfully awful Happy the Rabbit this story sets out to disturb and that it does. Once the pieces are assembled in the correct order we learn that it is all about sending messages in time to change the present and in particular arranging that a tragic mistake doesn’t happen. This would mean that somebody would be alive who is meant to be six feet under. But who is the shuffling zombie figure and how do they move around the gloomy house undetected.
Couple all of this with mad academics, military types, taxidermy and the crew of the TARDIS and this is a recipe for revelation and recrimination. Will the Doctor travel back in time to make sure an innocent girl dies tragically? Listen and find out!
This is a grim story well written and well portrayed – Lizzie Hopley (Gemma in Terror Firma amongst others) is brilliant and when she channels Happy the Bunny she is truly terrifying.
The time paradox element isn’t exploited too much and this remains a tale of inhumanity and obsession which is definitely worth a listen.