Directed By – Scott Handcock
Cast – Dan Starkey (Thomas Carnacki), Joseph Kloska (Dodgson)Unfamiliar as I was with the Carnacki Ghost Finder tales by William Hope Hodgson originally published in 1913, this new Big Finish series gave me a great opportunity to dive into Hodgson’s supernatural detective tales.I am of course familiar with Dan Starkey and his work with Big Finish, and of course as Strax, one-third of the Paternoster Gang, recurring favourites in Doctor Who. Here he proves a great choice for the role of Thomas Carnacki, the early 20th Century paranormal investigator. He delivers each of these six tales with relish and an obvious enjoyment of the language used.
Each of the six stories begins with Carnacki recounting his supernatural investigation to his confidante Dodgson and a small group of other invited guests to his Chelsea home. Each time being slowly drawn into a tale of mystery that unfolds with pace. You find yourself quickly engrossed in these stories where after a slow start there is no shortage of action and intrigue, as strange occurrences develop into edge-of-your seat supernatural happenings.
Starkey’s delivery as Carnacki is warm and shows an enthusiastic engagement with the story, enhancing the delicious language from Hodgson’s writing. You feel drawn into Carnacki’s confidence and the detail of each situation quickly transports you to the scenes of his investigation. For the casual listener coming to the series for the first time they prove accessible The rich descriptive language coupled with some suitably haunting music and effects create a spellbinding atmosphere.
The six stories in this series, although similar in structure offer a sufficient variety of situations and ghostly happenings meaning you quickly want to return to hear what will unfold in the next story, sometimes not ending as you might expect. Never has the phrase ‘expect the unexpected’ been more relevant, you really are put on the edge of your seat.
Blogtor Rating – 7/10
Producer – Scott Handcock
Executive Producers – Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Dan Starkey takes on the mantle of William Hope Hodgson’s supernatural detective, Thomas Carnacki, in this brand-new collection of readings:
The Gateway of the Monster
The House Among the Laurels
The Whistling Room
The Horse of the Invisible
The Searcher of the End House
The Thing Invisible
Review by Will Warren