Audio Club: Minuet in Hell

It’s time to listen to and discuss Minuet in Hell

Buy it online using the link above, or listen for free - you’ll find links where to listen free on the story page!

Once you’ve listened, talk about it below! Even if you listened to it before and just want to discuss it - dive right in! Just please use spoiler tags where appropriate.

Everyone who participates will get a coveted Audio Club badge! :medal_military:

Just for fun, add your rating here:

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3 Likes

I listened to this a couple of weeks ago. Before I started listening to it, I was concerned. Whenever I see a runtime longer than two hours, for a ‘regular’ release, I get worried that there will be loads of fluff that won’t really add up to anything. Putting this worry aside, I started listening, and immediately got hit with another bugbear, bad American accents. Bad accents in general will take me out of a story, but I carried on listening, and I’m glad I did.

I loved this story, setting and general vibe.

Having the Doctor not really appear until a good way through the story initially had me worried, but how they used it worked for me. Charley and The Brigadier carrying the main story was great. Using The Brig as the connecting tissue between the Doctors and Charleys stories really brought out how good Nicholas Courtney was when he was given things to work with.

I hadn’t encountered the Hellfire Club before but, based on this story, I am interested to learn more. While I’m not really a fan of occult/supernatural in my sci-fi, the twist in how they were used here didn’t bother me.

As someone who is a fan of Psychological and ‘Hedonistic’ Horror the setting and vibe really worked for me. Having a place where the people claim to be good and moral people, but under the surface they are hedonistic, power hungry and depraved really is my jam. In my mind, it’s a cross between The Stepford Wives and Hellraiser.

Cool Stuff

  • Charley in a spiked red corset and heels, apologising for stumbling because she isn’t used to the outfit.
  • Charley in general.
  • Nicholas Briggs as Gideon.
  • The Brigadier kicking ass.
  • Helen Goldwyn.
  • Dial-up internet sounds.

Not Cool Stuff

  • Dodgy accents.
  • Marchosias becoming a comedy character for part of the story.
  • Dodgy accents.
  • Slow start.
  • Dodgy accents.

This is tied with Sword of Orion as my favourite of the first four Eighth Doctor releases. I give this 4/5 (8/10).

11 Likes

I may or may not get round to listening to this one again because I think I need to give it another chance - I could not stand it the last time I listened. Idk if it’s the accents (which outdo themselves even by BF standards), or that I just don’t vibe with it, but this episode I think is not for me

6 Likes

I am going to give this one a re-listen. I always see the complaint about the accents in this one but it’s never been something in any stories where this complaint is raised that has bothered me.

But, then I know I’m a hypocrite because it makes my ears bleed whenever I hear Juliet Landau doing her Drusilla voice in Buffy or any other bad UK accents - especially when they seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that ‘Scottish’ is the same as ‘British’ in terms of accents (Mrs Doubtfire is the worst offender for this - and I love that film).

So I’m going to go in and try to find out what is wrong with the accents - especially as two of them are Robert Jezek and Morgan Deare who, as far as I’m aware, are at least Canadian, so should be closer than some.

5 Likes

But Spoike… I need more stringth… :rofl:

7 Likes

The problem is, James Marster’s accent isn’t that bad. Her’s is utterly, utterly, utterly atrocious!

The only worse English accents than hers are coming out of the mouths of Starkey, Jorjie and Darius :wink:

5 Likes

Hers is so bad it becomes funny, and she’s just as bad in Gallifrey! James Marsters at least is passable most of the time. And somehow I don’t think accents is the biggest problem the actors of K9 have :rofl:

5 Likes

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I have a soft spot for mental hospital stories, and I love when Eight gets a little messed up, so this ticks a lot of boxes for me. It’s the only audio I finished and immediately relistened to. I’ll have to listen again for a proper review, but I like it!

6 Likes

Honestly, I like this one more than a lot of people. I had listened to Big Finish audios on and off for a few years before really getting into them and this was one of the first ones I listened to in a weeks long binge.

It’s cheese. Unadulterated cheese. The Brigadier’s miniscule involvement and the piss poor treatment of Charley are pretty bad but a completely bonkers story that actually contains the line: “Here I am - eight feet of hot, sweaty demon” is just too hilarious to not enjoy.

7/10

7 Likes

It’s very daft, but like the Doctor said: it was fun.
The ‘demon’ is 100% the best character. Such a menacing voice but he says so many silly things. (after that it would be the brigadier. I haven’t even seen a single whole serial with him, but with every audio I love him more)

Not the kind of complicated thought provoking story it seemed to be, with all the “who am i” and brain editing, but not bad. For me at least, it managed to not break the most important rule for Doctor Who: Don’t be boring. It had lots of stupid eye rolling moments, but it managed to keep my attention the entire time.

Btw Briggs for sure just cast himself so he could play the Doctor again.

9 Likes

Idk why. It’s not great. It’s mediocre to fine and far too long. But it’s fun!

4 Likes

I just finished listening to this the second time. And while I remember not liking it too much at first (which changed the further I got into it), I even like it a bit now that I have listened to it again.

The whole plot is kind of weird, but in the best way.

I kind of already want to listen to it again.

7 Likes

I’m not re-listening to this this time round. But I will link my review on the Guide, which is taken from a review I wrote for another website in 2019.

Towards the end of the review i say the following: I read the summary found in the Big Finish Companion Volume 1 for this story. It’s not that bad of an idea. The way the plot summary is written makes it sound like something interesting that I’d like to listen to. And yet, actually listening to it, I struggle to get into it. I think that the accents are the biggest offender here. They’re British people trying to be Texan, or southern, or something. The biggest offenders are Dashwood, Becky Lee and the worst being Senator Pickering/Marchosias.

I think this is a story that couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. A political story, a supernatural story, a scientific experiment story, an Eight meets Brig story. It just kinda throws them all into the pot and stirs. It’s an adaptation of an old Audio Visuals script as well but majorly shifted in it’s time frame (the original was set in 1600s or 1700s England). It tries so hard and then fails in so many ways.

7 Likes

Thing is, Dashwood and Pickering are played by Canadians!

5 Likes

Then they have no excuse.

4 Likes

To be fair, I think Morgan Deare (Pickering) is trying to do a particular type of characterisation but it just goes way too far. Not entirely sure why Jezek isn’t able to do a consistent accent though.

5 Likes

Two episodes in and I’m going to have to take a break from this. It’s a harder listen than I remember and after the sublime (if a little silly) Stones of Venice, this one really does feel like a step down (and I think betrays its Audio Visual roots more than Sword of Orion did - something about the script and characterisation seems more amateurish (and dare I say immature)).

5 Likes

Almost forgot the DWM artwork:

6 Likes


I recently updated my old review for 'Minuet in Hell’ from the other site, and it’s now available to read here on TARDIS Guide.


It actually took quite some time to update my old review from TimeScales, because it was 80% me just calling this adventure a crock of old [REDACTED]!

I’ve been informed the AudioVisuals version of this adventure if far superior - by the way, @shauny, not sure those pre-BigFinish adventures are on TG or not.

Alan W. Lear supposedly had a pretty bad working relationship with Gary Russell, who rewrote most of ‘Minuet in Hell’… so I guess we have him to blame for drastically changing the setting and turning this into “PoundLand Buffy the Vampire Slayer”!

The written equivalent of a turd rammed through a letterbox, I genuinely cannot reccomend avoiding this adventure enough.

6 Likes

I keep seeing people focusing on the accents, as if that’s the problem with this story, and not an aesthetic detail that I tend to filter out in the same way I do with the classic series special effects.

To be clear, this story isn’t great, but the accents aren’t why it’s bad

8 Likes