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Doctor Who Review: Big Finish’s ‘The Lichyrwick Abomination’

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Do you remember which Doctor you began your Doctor Who journey with? My own personal journey with Doctor Who was a recommendation from one of my dearest friends. Having met on a Harry Potter roleplaying website, she told me that if I was going to begin the series, I mustn’t skip nine. She was entirely right. Christopher Eccleston’s time in the TARDIS was short with just 13 episodes, but impressive all the same. Thankfully, his Doctor can continue on in audio dramas, thanks to Big Finish. One such audio adventure is available for free from Big Finish, The Lichyrwick Abomination.

Part of the short trip series, this one-shot adventure finds the Doctor traveling alone and up to his eyeballs in trouble. Written by Joe Vevers and directed by Nicholas Briggs, this story is narrated by Big Finish staple Jacob Dudman. Can the Doctor figure out what’s going on in Lichyrwirck before it’s too late? Read on for more about The Lichyrwick Abomination.

[Warning: Spoilers from The Lichyrwick Abomination are below!]

The Doctor arrives in Lichyrwick

Lichyrwick is almost like any nameless city in the world. A small town filled with peaceful people trying to go about their lives. So what sets it aside from the rest? Perhaps it’s the monster that stalks its streets nightly. A creature that causes death to anyone who lays eyes on it, striking fear into the hearts of anyone living within Lichyrwick’s borders.

The Lichyrwick Abomination begins on any other night in this town, however years before the actual narrative picks up. Listeners meet Malcolm, a young boy through which listeners see the world of The Lichyrwick Abomination. As the town settles in for their nightly slumber, Malcolm is waiting in his room for his mother and sister to fall asleep. Eventually, he rises from his bed and sneaks downstairs, preparing to leave the abode and travel into the horror outside.

The young man hears noises outside and, scared, races to go back to his bedroom, realizing too late that he forgot to lock the door. He’s chased by a creature, unlike anything he’s ever seen, and wakes up on a beach the next day. Close call he thinks, but when his sister dies a week later, he blames himself and the monster he let into the house.

Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor (BBC)
Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor. Doctor Who (BBC).

It’s years later that the story picks up once again, with Malcolm racing home when he stumbles upon The Doctor. The latter seems confused as to why panic has arisen in the once lovely people on Lichyrwick. Malcolm expresses the danger of staying outside and invites The Doctor to stay the night in his house.

Something’s afoot in The Lichyrwick Abomination

The Doctor stays the night at Malcolm’s residence and witnesses the monstrous creature through one of the window panes. In the morning, he asks Malcolm to walk him around the town, so that he can figure out just what is going on. Something is wrong with the town, but perhaps the greatest mystery isn’t the creature, but the town itself.

The Doctor discovers a time sickness that has infected the entire city, with time fracturing and splintering before his eyes. And for some reason, the sickness seems drawn to Malcolm, something The Doctor intends to figure out before another person dies. What secrets lie at the heart of Lichyrwick and how exactly is Malcolm involved? For that dear reader, you’ll have to listen to The Lichyrwick Abomination yourself. 

The Pros and Cons of Big Finish’s The Lichyrwick Abomination

If you’ve been reading along with some of my past Big Finish reviews, you’ll know that I’ve come to love the work of Jacob Dudman. My journey with him as narrator began with Doctor Who: Free Speech, and continued through to Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles: Vol. 1. Across two very distinct Doctors, Dudman managed to capture the essence of what made both Smith and Tennant great, as well as a great impression of both. I’m excited to say the trend continued as he told another tale from a third Doctor.

I personally would struggle to find my voice for one character, let alone three. However, Dudman does it so well and makes it sound so easy. Part of that might be due to the wonderful story that felt like it fit in so well with the other Ninth Doctor adventures I’ve seen on television, but the energy and funnily serious nature that comes with Eccelston’s performance is due to Jacob Dudman’s excellent work. [For more audio dramas featuring Dudman’s voicework, visit this page on the Big Finish site ]

Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor (BBC)
Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor. Doctor Who (BBC).

I loved the horror aspect of the story as well. This felt like one of the Big Finish productions that I would revisit every year during October, to help set the scene for the spooky holiday season. There are moments that gave me chills and other times I wished I had a blanket to curl up under, for warmth and to hide. For those who are looking for an excellent horror story, with a traditional Doctor Who science fiction twist, this is the story for you.

I’ve also come to love some of these stories that are narrated as a novel would be, which is a different style compared to the full-cast audio dramas. I wasn’t initially sure I would like the one voice one story, but utilizing this technique allows for a deeper story because we’re not just hearing background noises and the dialogue. Scenes are being described to us, enriching the vision in my head, and allowing me to descend deeper into the story than I can with some full-cast audio dramas.

Perhaps the one downside to this series of Short Trips is that they are a tight story, clocking in at 45 minutes from start to finish. Some of the other audio dramas I’ve listened to are split among multiple chapters or have threads that continue from one chapter to the next. However, you get the entire story in one chunk, meaning that at times, the story moves quickly. So paying attention is key when there is so much story packed into such a small amount of time.

Overall, The Lichyrwick Abomination is another fantastic chapter in Doctor Who lore from Big Finish. Perhaps the best is that it’s a free offer from the studio, meaning that it costs nothing but your time, and perhaps you’ll get tons of enjoyment from another Ninth Doctor Adventure.

The Lichyrwick Abomination is available now from Big Finish. Will you be checking this one out? Let us know on Twitter or in the Cosmic Circus Discord.

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

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