REVIEW: The Ghost Trap

The Ghost Trap
By Nick Wallace

Read by Louise Jameson

Out Now

Review by Nick Fraser

“The walls were breathing”

The Doctor and Leela land aboard a vast and apparently abandoned spaceship in response to a distress call. It soon becomes horribly clear that whilst the vessel’s crew is all present and correct, they’ve suffered a horrific trauma; the signs of which are all too apparent to the co-travellers. This encounter occurs early in their travels, the Time Lord setting out to educate the savage warrior of the Sevateem. Through a combination of the Doctor’s extensive knowledge and his companion’s instincts, they quickly establish that something is very badly wrong aboard the vessel. And all the while, the walls are... breathing.

It’s an unsettling premise, and one Nick Wallace skilfully uses to build up the tension over the course of this story. The spaceship is revealed as being of Hihmakk origin, a race of beings with preternatural abilities in piloting their way through hyperspace. Louise Jameson’s subtle narration takes the listener within the cavernous depths of a ship constructed on an enormous scale, fused from a combination of flesh, bone and muscle. It’s a change in Doctor Who for the setting rather than the monsters to be the cause of such visceral discomfort, but it makes this short audio a memorable one.

Having established that all but one of the Hihmakk crew is dead, the Doctor and Leela, separated by circumstances, work together to try and find the cause of the ship’s debilitation and death of its crew. They discover a tragic misunderstanding of the nature of Hihmakk space travel by others keen to discover and exploit its secrets has set off a chain of events, with brutal consequences.

Leela’s almost extra-sensory hunting abilities soon acquire a greater value as she tracks, and is then forced to lure, a ghostly presence on board the Hihmakk craft, all the while trusting in the Doctor’s efforts in the control room to guide her to safety.

This is a chilling and atmospheric mystery story, perfectly narrated by Jameson. An enjoyable listen, particularly late at night.

Thanks to Big Finish

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