The Crooked Man
by John Dorney
Starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson
The Crooked Man was a demon living in books that ate people's imagination and loved to kill, but to Laura, that’s just a story, right? In a small coastal town people are disappearing and dying. A strange spindly figure stalks the cold, deserted streets and it’s up to Leela and the Doctor to sort things out.
This fantastic script was penned by the always impressive, never disappointing, infinitely talented John Dorney. As an audio piece the story is told incredibly clearly; and the atmospheric and creepy style achieved is a real credit to stalwart director Nick Briggs. Without wanting to spoil anything, the literary meta references are handled expertly and the bedtime story/fairy tale framed structure is a masterful touch. The episode one cliffhanger is a particularly exciting one; it manages to not feel rushed in only two episodes and avoids cliche at every turn.
There are some wonderful performances from Neil Stuke as the titular Crooked Man, Sarah Smart (Jennifer in The Almost People/The Rebel Flesh) as Laura is a wonderfully believable one-off companion and, as always, Louise Jameson as Leela is fantastic.
The story doesn’t change the face of Doctor Who, but it isn’t trying to. The Crooked Man has that perfect concoction of comedy and horror. It keeps you guessing right up until the end but, most importantly, it cleverly draws on our childhood fears for its inspiration - which is what Doctor Who does when it's at its best. One of the finest stand alone stories from Big Finish in memory, do give it a listen.
BLOGTOR RATING 10/10
Thanks to Big Finish