Audio Club: Minuet in Hell

Trundling on with Episode 3 and it’s only getting worse. Gideon Crane’s Quiz of Rassilon to test the Doctor’s knowledge is cringe (What was the name of the family Victoria Waterfield stayed with?) but it does include the rather neat reference to Loups Garoux which is, of course, the next release.

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It’s like this story is going for comedic horror, but missing a bit on both marks.

Nicholas Courtney is amazing as ever and Charley is one of my favourite audio companions, so it has that going for it.
The accents might be a bit dodgy at times, but no worse than Milo Clancy or Cotton are on the TV show so I give that a pass.

The first two episodes with the Doctor in the mental hospital are so rough to listen to, in many ways psychiatric patients are still being invalidated in contemporary times like the Doctor is in this one.

A bit middle of the road I would say, probably a 3/5 :star:

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Finished this at the weekend and I’m sorry to say, I ended up downgrading my rating on the site.

It’s just all so unsavoury. The mental asylum stuff is horrid; the Hellfire club bits are just nasty. I actually feel dirty having listened to it. Having thoroughly enjoyed watching the new series with my whole family for the first time, it struck me that I wouldn’t be comfortable with my daughter listening to this.

The rather distasteful romantic subplot between Pargeter and Dashwood; Charley spending the story in either a skimpy nightie or a red leather outfit with spikes; Becky Lee seemingly ripping people limb from limb or making Pargeter whip herself psychically. The demon possessed Pickering lusting after Charley. It’s all just so horrible.

And the middle of this you have McGann and Courtney trying gamely to add some class to proceedings and only just about managing to emerge with their honour intact.

Helen Goldwyn, usually so reliable and endearing can do nothing with Becky Lee except mutter Latin and have a terrible accent. Jezek, Deare and Maureen Oakley are just not very good either. I fully accept now that the US accents in this are awful.

The sound design is shonky too with the sound of scenes just stopping as if someone rather crudely hit the edit button.

I’m usually Mr Positive about any story and have often said the worst crime a story can commit is to be boring but Minuet in Hell has actually joined a very short list I now have of what I consider properly ‘bad’ stories.

I honestly cannot fathom why anyone would rate this audio 4 or 5 stars - as I say, it just makes me feel icky and really really was an unpleasant experience.

1.5/5 and that is absolutely purely because McGann, Courtney and Fisher get 1/2 a star each.

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Pretty much everything you stated as a negative, I think of as positives. (other than the accents)

Well different strokes.

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As I said earlier, there are elements of a potentially interesting story in here somewhere. However, the Eighth Doctor amnesia plot is overdone in expanded media anyway, the accents are awful, and the final result is just bad. It really is a shame that this is the only true meeting between Eight and the Brig (Zagreus doesn’t really count in that regard).

Of the handful of Audio Visual remakes, I think this is the one that shouldn’t have even been attempted. Now, we need an Eighth Doctor story in the next couple years with McGann and Jon Culshaw as the Brig. Something’s that actually good, or at least passable. Maybe an Eight/UNIT story.

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I mean Charley is a series of ‘sexy’ outfits isn’t necessarily a bad thing… :smirk:

but nah - coming after the brilliant Storm Warning, the gently romantic Stones of Venice and, yes, even Sword of Orion which doesn’t particularly float my boat but I can see why people like it’s spacey, base under siege, dark corridors vibe - this just cannot even begin to compare.

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Well, different tastes and all that. This is tied as my favourite of the first 4.

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You want “UNIT Dating” from “Stranded”

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now THAT is a great story, maybe the best one from all of Stranded

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I’d forgotten that Eight and the Brig actually met in that one.

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Yeah, I’m not a fan.

The performances are great - from the British cast that is. Paul, India, and the two Nicks (Courtney and Briggs) are generally good. The American accents sound stupid, as has been pointed out before.

The script itself is a mess of themes and ideas, all lost under layers of weird editing, overlong individual parts, very clunky sound design and a confusing structure. Answers are eventually served but I still struggle to figure out what happened here. There’s amnesia, mental institutions, a new state, the Hellfire club, and a demon with a stupid demon voice. This feels like Big Finish going Timewyrm: Genesys and writing a story that dials the mature and kinky tone to max just because they can, and it all ends up bizarre and awkward.

It’s a 4/10 for me.

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Honestly, when I first listened to this I thought it was very entertaining. Sure there were some… questionable… parts, but the whole American thing was funny to me. I live in the US, and I can tell you the politicians in the South are not great people at all, so accuracy on that bit I guess. It’s definitely not high up on my ranking list, but still listenable and somewhat entertaining, even if just from sheer shock. 6/10

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Admittedly I’ve only heard it once, but I loved it. Just pure fun. Doctor Who doing America like this is totally not realistic but I (from the US myself) don’t care because it’s incredibly funny and just an all-around good time that I deeply enjoyed. It was definitely my favorite of the first “season” of four Charley audios.

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I’m not the biggest fan of this audio but those are some heartwarming pictures!

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Well, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the previous three, but it was still fun! Thought the end dragged on a bit, especially cause there were so many plots to be resolved, I think. The brigadier was a lot of fun!

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