Audio Club: The Holy Terror

It’s time to listen to and discuss The Holy Terror.

The Sixth Doctor and… a penguin?!

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:

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I was wondering which audio’d be a good introduction to that particular companion, and at 14 in the main range, that probably be this one…

Part 1: goofy nonsense logic world

Part 2: funny penguin shenanigans

Part 3: absolutely terrifying shit happens (also more funny penguin)

Part 4: the most emotionally devastating thing i have ever experienced in this entire franchise and medium

life ruining 10/10 (all hail frobisher the big talking bird)


The plot of the story is very good and it really fits as an audio story. Colin Baker always brings it, there is never any phoning it in or just going through the motions no matter the script.

Frobisher’s accent is so grating to me, where is that accent from because I need to know so I’ll never go there by accident :flushed::upside_down_face:

The child’s voice in the last part is also a bit annoying but it fits the narrative being presented perfectly.

Overall the story is so imaginative, exactly as Doctor Who should be, and I really enjoyed it :+1:
My rating ended up at 3,5/5 :star:


Okay. This is a weird one and I love it!

First, who is the penguin and why can he change his nose/beak? The story is both funny and emotional and I think that they manage to balance this well.

I think that this is my favorite MR so far:

5/5 and a favorite

One thing that I don’t like about MR in general is that it does not feel connected at all. I want to get a little more context to the stories and how they relate to each other. Both this and the last one introduced new companions with no backstory at all.


At the start they go pretty out of their way to explain who Frobisher is. But I agree it does get a little confusing sometimes jumping around in the timeline with every new story if you don’t know the characters.


They will begin connecting more later on. The 8th Doctor MRs are basically all connected and there are smaller arcs involving the other Doctors as well.


Oh, that cliffhanger! And Frobisher! Rob Shearman doing what he does best. Love this story. 10/10 from me.


All hail the big talking bird!!! Who doesn’t love Frobisher :heart_eyes:

Yeah, the thing about the MR is they aren’t connected. Until they are. And there’s no way of telling which stories you’re going to need for context for anything else… In general, the early MR is pretty standalone, especially with Seven and Five. Six and Evelyn are on their arc and so are Eight and Charley when we get there, but mostly it’s the single Doctor tracks that have a throughline, sort of.

Until they mix together.

I can totally understand why people are afraid to get into BF, the order in which to listen to anything can be complex :sweat_smile:


I was recommended this a lot many years ago, with people mentioning a lot of what has been said in this thread already. It’s been a couple of years since I listened to it, but I remember thinking it was “Fine”. Nothing special, but enjoyable.


I think this stems from a time when, as Doctor Who fans, we were used to watching stories in isolation and jumping between Doctors. Big Finish started releasing audios at the tail end of the VHS era and the beginning of the DVD releases. Repeat seasons on TV would invariably be one story per Doctor (the one time they tried consecutive stories, they started with Spearhead, got as far as Silurians gave up, showed Genesis of the Daleks (again) and canned the repeats).

So, at the time, listening to a Fifth Doctor story one month and a Seventh the next didn’t feel unusual at all.

Also, BF were playing the fan game and making sure people couldn’t moan that McCoy had 6 releases in a row because ‘I hate McCoy, why can’t we have some audios with Davison’. And let’s remember how unpopular Colin was in the mythical fan ‘consensus’.

As time has gone on though, and fans of all eras are loud and proud and nowadays we are more likely to watch things in order because everything is available so easily. To start with BF moved over to more obvious trilogies within the Main Range, but still mixing up the Doctors. And then they finished the Main Range completely and went over to discrete box sets.

And the 8th Doctor was always a different kettle of fish anyway because, effectively, he was the incumbent Doctor so giving him actual ‘seasons’ made more sense.


I get that and I like the different doctor each week approach. But it would be nice to get a couple of more introduction lines on who Benny or the Penguin is. Maybe even a line on what they did just before this or something. To me as a relative new to the EU this makes this a bit inaccessible.


I had a bit of a strange introduction to this one; it was actually the story that made me stop listening to BF! Years and years ago when I first began the audios, I heard half a dozen or so, really enjoyed them, and then got halfway through the Holy Terror and really wasn’t feeling it so—stopped listening for 6 months or so!

Wild in retrospect because this is definitely one of my favourite 6th Doctor stories. I suppose it’s possible that its first half is a bit overlong, and it doesn’t tip its hand as to what it’s actually doing until part 3 or so. But goodness, is that payoff just stunning. Part 4 is a total masterpiece. You can totally see Rob Shearman’s theatre roots—it’s extremely stage-play, and experimental in a way I can totally see on stage. All that talk of roles, of fictional characters embodying stereotypes… and the ending is emotionally cathartic in a way that reminds me strongly of Rob’s short story collections, which have been his main focus since Big Finish. (Seriously—pick up one of his books. They’re amazing.)

Definitely my favourite Main Range yet!


I think it’s a little harder now in knowing who Benny and Frobisher are, then it was at time of release. For the record, Bernice Summerfield was a long-running Seventh Doctor companion from the New Adventures who then had her own novel series when Virgin lost the Doctor Who license. Whereas Frobisher was an alien shape shifter who favored the form of a penguin and was a Sixth Doctor companion from the DWM comics. So at the time, most people buying these would’ve known who these characters were. Hope that helps.


I’m sure there used to be an anecdotal idea that The Holy Terror was one of BF’s lowest selling releases because of that group of fans who don’t ‘count’ the comics.


This one was also like Shadow of the Scourge, where it was part of a subseries called Side Step. This one is set in the ‘continuity’ of the 2-D (ie comics).


One of my favorite stories! I’m heading up to Jacksonville today to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with family and I can’t wait to pop this on for the drive up!

And after listening to it on the way up, it’s just as good as I remember! Every line lands but the horror slowly unfolds.


I was enjoying the fun and ridiculous first 3 parts, and then part 4 hit… damn. This got to be my favourite MR so far, though I skipped Benny one cuz I’m unfamiliar with her charachter.


Welcome. And the “Benny one” is great. All you really need to know is that Benny is an archeologist who travels with the Seventh Doctor. She’s a great character, but there’s not really any backstory apart from that to understand Benny in The Shadow of the Scourge. If you really want to hear how she joined the Doctor, listen to Love and War · Novel Adaptations · TARDIS Guide or track down the original novel Love and War · Virgin New Adventures · TARDIS Guide. That said, I don’t think you really need any backstory for that Main Range appearance. Had you already read the Sixth Doctor DWM comics that introduced Frobisher before listening to Holy Terror?