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Reviews for The Gallery of Ghouls

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Light and Trivial

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 13 March 2017
Rating:   6

Alan Barnes in the 2010s seems to want to go to the funny really, really badly. Gallery of Ghouls has much of the schtick that we found in Doctor Who of the Graham Williams era. The story is of rival waxworks operations in Brighton, 1833, being used as a send-up of Madame Tussaud's. Each is a fake in its own way, though one with more deadly implications than the other. We also get rival fake French accents quite outrageously out of kilter. The script has some unreserved punning, such as Goole's hous of ghouls, and the planet located in the Slough of Despond, making some jokes at the expense of the city of Slough. The story never quite leaves this level of trivia. It's fun, but not particularly memorable.

The Lightest story ever for Tom Baker

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 3 March 2019
Rating:   10

Sometimes Big Finish have huge and epic rides for the Doctor and his friends, and sometimes we do need a story that just lets us ease off and relax a little. And for me The Gallery Of Ghouls is just that kind of story!

This is nothing openly epic and huge. But what it is is a very very enjoyable breather episode. The characters are all light and some are amusing and pretty diverting, not least of all Tom's Doctor himself who seems openly playful and brilliant in this little gem of a tale.

And its always so great hearing Celia Imrie, an actress Ive always greatly liked. And her character Madame Tissot is wonderfully funny in the best of ways. And the plot here is very easy to follow and so is gratefully received by me. I don't mind big epic stories, but sometimes convolution is a bad thing that ruins some story efforts as they try to be too clever, which is what good stories don't need.

The banter between Romana and the Doctor is as sparkling as it was in season seventeen of the TV show! Its always marvellous to hear these two brilliant characters sparring together! Nickolas Grace as Goole too is very well played. The creepiness of waxworks is nicely played too, there are some great sound moments where the usual Big Finish attention to audio sound is quite wonderful. This is the kind of story to enjoy with a cup of tea and some crumpets in the afternoon with your feet up on a cushion!

The cleverness of Alan Barnes is he can weave stories that take place in unusual places for Doctor Who. I cant believe they have never thought of a wax works for a TV episode. But The Gallery of Ghouls satisfies on every level, including the level of this is one to listen to just for plain old fashioned enjoyment and not pulse pounding draining thrill ride, though they are good for when youre in the mood!! But for those who just want to take it easy, then this is definitely a story you should enjoy. I most certainly do!!

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