More of Thomson's Second Doctor audio saga...

Her House is a spooky mystery that never quite blooms the way it could due to its limited runtime.

WRITTEN BY

Benji Clifford and Christopher Thomson, who need to be hired by Big Finish like right now.

PLOT

The Doctor finds himself the lonely "guest" of a mysterious spirit with nothing, but a Ouija board and an earnest butler to keep him company.

ANALYSIS

Her House starts off exceptionally. Haunted houses are perhaps the most common of horror tropes and for a good reason: they conjure a chilling atmosphere so easily that it does half of the writers' work. Now all that's left is to come up with a compelling backstory behind the mysterious, foreboding events that occur.

And to the writers' credit, they do come up with a perfectly reasonable answer for what's going on. But with only roughly 25 minutes to tell the story, it's like skipping from appetiser to dessert. We get a touch of foreboding, and the rest of the runtime is spent on the Doctor deducing the situation and resolving it with simple logic. As a result, it becomes more of a puzzle than a story. Which is a shame, because there's some very intriguing ideas in here.

CHARACTERS

We've had a season 5-esque story in Red Snow and we've had something sinister that could've been aired in season 4 with Freedom Of The Daleks. Now, Chris Thomson gets to delve into the more surreal and comical side of the Second Doctor a la season 6 with this story. As a prisoner, he's both flippant and indignant, prone to temper tantrums even. It's a refreshingly human response to the situation that I really enjoyed(I'd probably do the same).

All I could really think of whilst listening to Joel Hunter's Clarence is just how young and earnest he sounded. It's especially strange when one considers what his identity turned out to be(won't spoil here), but I think it helped to give the character's desperate defense of his reality some extra poignancy, almost like a child defending a make-believe world.

Their website doesn't specifiy who portrayed the House itself, but whoever it was, she was very well chosen. I'm not sure why anyone would (spoilers spoilers spoilers) program their ship with a child's voice, but it did suit both the emotionless computer and the controlling, ethereal spirit sides of the character.

NOTES

*In the last two stories, the theme tune was noticeably altered(presumably due to copyright issues), but here, it seems to be the exact original.

*The sound effects for the house were awesome. Creaky wood and all that.

*One thing I have to point out is that Joel Hunter's American accent, in true Doctor Who tradition, was terrible.

*I love the use of Ouija boards in fiction, and it worked brilliantly as part of the plot here as well. There's just something magical about having the power to commune with the dead right at your fingertips.

*Whose ship is this supposed to be anyway? If it's a time-space machine, it should be an advanced TARDIS, right?

*Why does the ship (apparently) fall apart after the computer shuts down?

*In the last story, the Doctor mentioned that it was the house that was preventing him from returning to Jamie and Victoria. But that doesn't make any sense considering that he only ended up there because his TARDIS was the closest time-space ship. Why would the house send him on random detours to Earth and the Thal spaceship?

CONTINUITY ADVISOR

The Doctor tells Clarence of an old hermit he met in the mountains of his home. The home is on Gallifrey and the hermit is of course Kan'po Rinpoche, whom we meet in Planet Of The Spiders.

BEST QUOTE

"Not all things can last forever. If they did, they wouldn't be special. They wouldn't be magical. Treasure it."

CONCLUSION

I guess it's not a bad thing to say that I desperately wanted more.