Big Finish delve into the mysterious and monstrous world of ‘Dark Shadows’ once more.

With four new writers and four new stories, ‘Dark Shadows’ makes a strong return. After an incredible string of releases, can ‘Shadows of the Night’ keep that hot streak going?

Trio by Nick Myles

The opening story focuses on Carolyn Stoddard and Amy Jennings, two friends who visit a musical performance one night. There the pair come face to face with the mysterious pianist Jude and both fall instantly for the strange man. But as the pair fight over him, they discover Jude isn’t just a man…he is something else entirely…

Written by Big Finish newcomer Nick Myles, ‘Trio’ deals brilliantly with jealousy and what it can make people do. But Myles doesn’t explore this by simply throwing monsters and demons in. His humorous script is naturalistic and funny, ramping things up until the creature is ready to be revealed. Written in the form of a diary entry, ‘Trio’ is a brilliant way of telling a short story. Myles reminds us that sometimes we don’t meet horrifying monsters. Sometimes we are the monsters.

Honeymoon from Hell by Antoni Pearce

Cyrus Longworth has always been an interesting character in ‘Dark Shadows’ lore. Born with the son of the devil living in his head and working to exorcise his demons. ‘Honeymoon from Hell’ picks things up just after he has fulfilled his mission. Cyrus and his new wife Sabrina have travelled to Germany for their honeymoon. But soon become aware of someone following them…right before Sabrina goes missing…

Antoni Pearce delivers a story about literally and metaphorically facing our demons. Of course, Cyrus had a literal demon in his head so the notion of that is something that doesn’t appeal to him. And that is something that Pearce seems to understand.  ‘Honeymoon from Hell’, is a slower tale than the preceding story and the journey of Cyrus and Sabrina around Germany is mostly padding for the story. But it does an effective job demonstrating the bond between these two.

In the latter half, however, the story really kicks into gear. With Sabrina kidnapped, Pearce delves into fairy tales using a trail of pearls straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Constant references to woodsmen and wolves can’t fail to emphasise the fairytale bent of this script. This theme maybe didn’t work as well as it might have done, but it still makes for an entertaining story.

Retreat by Daniel Hinchliffe

‘Retreat’ is another slow-burner compared to the breakneck opening tale. Which perhaps set the wrong tone for the set as a whole. We pick up again with Amy, still travelling through France. The story starts off with a light-hearted tone, but things take a darker turn quite quickly. When her friend is kidnapped, Amy must track him down through the world of werewolves. Just when she thought she’d left that life behind in Collinsport. The gory details on the werewolf creatures in this story prove some really strong writing from Hinchliffe.

1:53 AM by Lila Whelan

‘1.53 AM’ is more of a traditional ghost story: a haunted house, possession and a family in turmoil. Lila Whelan gives us one of the best ‘Dark Shadows’ audio tales there has been. Told through the tape found in a voice recorder, almost akin to Colin Baker in ‘The House by the Sea’, the story is instantly engrossing.

For a seasoned horror fan, this might prove predictable. But things are kept exciting with a carefully stewed tension. Beyond all the demon possession and poltergeist activity, Whelan’s story is very much about family and the home and people being confronted with things they don’t understand. This was a brilliant little tale but don’t listen to it alone!

Overall

‘Shadows of the Night’ is a bit of a mixed bag. Following on from a very strong string of releases from the ‘Dark Shadows’ range this set unfortunately pales in comparison. ‘Trio’ and ‘1.53 AM’ are triumphant debuts for hopefully some new talent in the worlds of Big Finish. It is just a shame that the two tales in the middle, ‘Honeymoon from Hell’ and ‘Retreat’ fall a little short of the bar raised by the tales that bookmark them.

Blogtor Rating: 7/10

‘Shadows of the Night’ is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.

Synopsis

This title was released in December 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until January 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.

Four tales of horror, romance and intrigue…

Trio by Nick Myles

Carolyn Stoddard and Amy Jennings are the greatest of friends and they would never let a man come between them. But the mysterious pianist Jude is no ordinary man…

Honeymoon From Hell by Antoni Pearce

Cyrus Longworth and Sabrina Jennings have finally defeated their demons and are now married. But, when on their honeymoon in Germany, they see a man watching them can they be sure that they’ve escaped their past?

Retreat by Daniel Hinchliffe

Amy Jennings may be on vacation, but when a last day in Paris becomes a hunt for a friend through a long-neglected bookstore, it seems there are some things you can never run away from…

1:53 AM by Lila Whelan

Doctor Robert Harper is visited by his old friend, Carolyn. She needs his help to investigate what appears to be a case of possession in a typical suburban house. But he is about to discover that it’s not only the Collins family who have dark secrets…

Written By: Nick Myles, Antoni Pearce, Daniel Hinchliffe, Lila Whelan
Directed By: David Darlington and Jim Pierson

Cast

Nancy BarrettChristopher PennockStephanie EllyneJames Storm

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