Night Of The Stormcrow

Doctor WhoAfter colliding with something in the time vortex, the TARDIS lands at an isolated observatory in Hawaii, where the staff has already suffered casualties at the hands of an alien force. Professor Cazalet, the astronomer currently booking telescope time at the observatory, obsessively talks about her discovery of something she calls the Stormcrow. Once the Doctor gets a look at the Stormcrow, he realizes that he knows it by quite a different name – and that it has come to feed on what it thinks is a dying planet. Not everyone will survive the fight to fend off the Stormcrow, but failing to fight it at all will spell doom for the entire human race.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Chase Masterson (Peggy Brooks), Ann Bell (Professor Gesima Cazalet), Jonathan Forbes (Trevor Gale), Mandi Symonds (Erica MacMillan)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after The Oseidon Adventure and before The King Of Sontar

Notes: The CD cover for Night Of The Stormcrow was redesigned at a very late stage to bring the Big Finish audios’ cover art in line with the BBC design guidelines for merchandise released during the 50th anniversary of the television series, and was the first cover to have the anniversary logo (basically the Hartnell-era video feedback title sequence framed within the Pertwee/McGann style lettering) applied to it. Originally released as a bonus for subscribers only, Night Of The Stormcrow was given a general release in December 2013.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: A stand-alone adventure released alongside the Big Finish main range story 1,001 Nights, Night Of The Stormcrow is a classic “base under siege” tale, which happens to be a Doctor Who specialty. This story puts “base under siege” in a blender with “misguided unethical scientists gone wild” and lets rip.

Doctor Who: Night Of The StormcrowA lot of the fireworks are set off by the rivalry between the characters played by Ann Bell and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine alumnus Chase Masterson. Every possible contrast one can imagine is contained within this feud: scientist vs. bureaucrat who’s funding the research, British vs. American, and possibly an age/generation gap as well. Masterson adds a bucket of snark to nearly every line she gets, so there’s a class/manners gap too.

Louise Jameson manages to steal the show, however, with some positively revelatory scenes for Leela. As she tries to reassure some of the excitable humans she is trying to protect, it gradually emerges that Leela is gradually leaving behind mysticism (and possibly religion as she knows it along with it) under the Doctor’s tutelage. This transition, to be fair, was hinted at as early as her first television appearance (in which the Doctor had to debunk her fear that he was the Evil One, no less), but she has begun to take on board the realization that technology – particularly on the Doctor’s level – may be indistinguishable from magic, and relies less on “wisdom” from her tribal upbringing (though she obviously hasn’t abandoned it completely). It’s an interesting development for the character – so it’s almost a pity that it’s confined to a subscriber exclusive that wouldn’t see a general release for year.