‘ Night of the Stormcrow’
Written by Marc Platt, directed by Nicholas Briggs
Released: December 2012
“Out there in the night, there is an emptiness… a darkness.”
“Could be just a lack of breakfast.”
The Doctor and Leela land just outside the Mount McKerry observatory during an auspicious evening. A visitor from the stars has come to Earth, which delights Professor Gesima Cazalet who has named it her ‘stormcrow,’ but when the darkness seems to move and kill, that wonder turns to terror.
Stormcrow was released as a special one-off and features the pairing of the Fourth Doctor and Leela, and fits perfectly into the early Graham Williams era, blending Gothic elements with witty dialog and richly drawn humanistic supporting characters. Night of the Stormcrow feels not too dissimilar to Image of Fendahl or Horror of Fang Rock, both stories that center on supernatural threats revealed to be extraterrestrial in origin.
The Doctor is at his eccentric best, charming the rattled scientific crew stranded on the isolated island site and the huntress Leela is in fine form, playing the savage from out of time in touch with her instincts. The crew of the observatory are out of their depths, unaware of what their research has attracted or the power it holds.
One of Classic Doctor Who’s strongest suits is atmosphere. The greatest of its stories may admittedly be lacking in production value or impressive special effects, but a unique alignment of top notch acting talent, sharp scripting and superb direction have resulted in memorably evocative adventures such as Talons of Weng Chiang, Kinda, and the Curse of Fenric (just to name a few). In the audio format these strengths come to the fore and are immensely successful.
Writer Marc Platt (the man behind 1989’s Ghostlight) was inspired by sleepless nights when he was seized by almost palpable anxieties. This translates well in a claustrophobic thriller where the monster is at once invisible and inescapable. There are few truly spooky Doctor Who stories that hearken back to the good old days when the program launched viewers behind the sofa, but this one is up there.
Doctor Who -Night of the Stormcrow was only available for a limited time, but may be ordered from The Book Depository with free shipping worldwide by clicking on the link below: