Review by Jacob Licklider
The Haunting of Bryck Place is the third and final Interlude for 2022, being a bonus release attacked to The Seventh Doctor Adventures: Silver and Ice, at least as far as announced Interludes go. There could be further installments or bonus goodies with future releases, especially as none of the Doctors have had their second sets released, though their titles have all been announced. This is also the only Interlude to not make use of a new narrator, with Sophie Aldred taking the narration of the story and she does wonderfully, though with her narration you are aware that this is an audiobook and not an audio drama which has been what the Interludes have been marketed as. There is some extra music and sound design, so it is an enhanced audiobook, but still an audiobook and written as an audiobook and not as a scripted drama, using the format to great effect to tell a story cantering on Ace and her growth as a character. Now, using Ace as a character is nothing new, the Virgin New Adventures from 1991 to 1997 kept her as companion for over half the ranges run and Big Finish themselves have done several story arcs exploring Ace, but Georgia Cook’s script does something a little different, explores an early adventure for Ace where the Doctor isn’t attempting to manipulate her for one of his grand schemes.
The chess-master personality for the Seventh Doctor is my favourite version of the character to explore, but this story does such a good job at exploring the teacher/student dynamic and keeping it lighter in tone than some of the darker Seventh Doctor stories out there. This makes it fitting to be attached to Silver and Ice as almost a bridge between Season 24 and 25 with the possibility of being an earlier adventure for Ace. The story itself is a pseudo-historical story set in Tudor London around the first estate in England to be built out of bricks, hence The Haunting of Bryck Place, though as it is a new building there is mystery surrounding why it could be haunted. There is a mysterious woman in black haunting the halls and when the Doctor and Ace arrive to investigate it is eventually revealed that this phantom has the visage of Ace. This allows Cook to explore ideas of one’s shadow and the darker points in their existence, however, it is a little too cramped into the space of an hour though is promising for future stories. The Doctor takes a backseat as this is really Ace’s story and works as a very nice parallel to Ghost Light, with Ace not quite at the point in that story where she is examining herself entirely.
Overall, if The Haunting of Bryck Place is the final Interlude for 2022, it’s a great one to go out on, proving the experiment and opportunity for new writers is a rounding success. It’s essentially the final story in a trilogy from new writers cutting their teeth and giving listeners something new voiced in an old format. 8/10.
Check out the rest of our Big Finish reviews!