MY BIG FINISH JOURNEY PART 13: THE CHIMES OF MIDNIGHT
After quite a long break from writing reviews due to work commitments, I am back with The Chimes Of Midnight. This is the second story in Paul McGann’s second series of audios and wow it was a good one. I have always heard people say that this big finish adventure is one of the best of all time, so I had high expectations for it. Did it fill my expectations? Yes definitely! It was one of the most engaging stories I have listened to. It had mystery, tension, and some great scenes between the Doctor and Charley. It has one of the most twisted plots which makes you feel like you’re part of the story. The writer, Robert Shearman has gone on to write some other big finish audios as well as writing the very first dalek episode in the modern era ‘Dalek’ (2005). He is someone who I wish would come back and write for Doctor Who again as I feel the show is in dire need of some dark gritty episodes with a good plot.
The plot of this episode was split between a murder mystery and the effects of a time paradox. The first two parts set up the murder mystery really well whilst adding the idea that there was something wrong with time. It was very similar to the series 4 episode, ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ (2008). The tension built up every time someone died. However, that is a very basic storyline. In The Chimes Of Midnight people who had already died came back to life. This made the mystery even more confusing and it felt like the movie Groundhog Day. As the Doctor and Charley begins to discover it isn’t anyone in the house who is committing the murders and in fact it’s a trap caused by the time loop it starts to become a bit more complicated. The third part built up too much confusing stuff and I don’t think that the fourth part could conclude the story properly. Even thou I felt that the story concluded extremely quickly it was still satisfying. The time paradox all linked back to the very first adventure with the Doctor and Charley, Storm Warning. This is quite nostalgic because Storm Warning was the very first Big Finish Audio I listened to at the start of 2020. Charley was supposed to die in that episode, but the Doctor rewrote history which caused the events of this story. A story arc that lasted this long was something I really enjoyed, and it worked really well. I think the plot was overall really twisted and clever and kept you wondering what is happening however I feel that maybe this story should have been 6 parts long as it was concluded a bit quickly.
Paul McGann as per usual was incredible in the Chimes Of Midnight as was Charley. I am really starting to like her character now and she has a great dynamic with McGann. Whilst the side cast was good in this story it was hard to become invested in them due to the number of times they kept dying. The villain as original and interesting as it was, wasn’t fully developed and was a bit confusing. The soundtrack was particularly good as it worked very well along side the story and helped make the mystery even more confusing as did the sound effects.
To conclude, I think The Chimes Of Midnight was a great story which mixed a classic who done it story, with a timey-wimey story. It was great at bringing back old story arcs like if Charley should or shouldn’t be dead after the events of her first big finish audio Storm Warning. Paul McGann was at his best in a setting that really suited his Edwardian style. The side cast were decent as was the villain. However, I do think if The Chimes Of Midnight was six parts instead of four it would have made it even better. There is a reason Robert Shearman got invited to write for the 2005 reboot of the show, it’s because he’s an incredible writer with gritty dark stories.
I give The Chimes Of Midnight an 8/10.
Written by: JACOB MOORE
Hi im Jacob and I am one of the writers on this website. I mainly focus on my series of big finish reviews I do called My big finish journey. But I also do some classic reviews and some news articles. I hope you guys enjoy:)