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Nightmare Fuel: Big Finish Doctor Who
"Zagreus sits inside your head / Zagreus lives among the dead / Zagreus sees you in your bed / And eats you when you're sleeping..."
—The Eighth Doctor, "Zagreus"
The Shadow Of The Scourge. A race of eight dimensional monsters who are the source of all human despair and failure. That is bad enough but then remember that, if they order a humanoid to do something, then it is physically impossible for the human nervous system to disobey. Then they start issuing orders such as:
Place your hands against your windpipe and press with all your strength.
Find the weakest among you and turn on them; now, tear the limbs from their torso (*made all the worse because we hear all the screams and tearing flesh that that entails*)
Quite possibly the most horrific command, though, is:
The Zagreus rhyme and Eight going bonkers was bad enough, but the worst part is where the evil TARDIS, in the form of the Brig, is hunting Romana, Leela, and Charley. Talk about Mind Screws.
Evil!Brig!TARDIS is just scary in general, especially when you realize that its reasons for revenge against the Doctor (other than being possessed) are actually pretty valid. The Doctor obviously cares about the TARDIS but he does tend to abuse it, albeit unthinkingly. What happens if one day it snaps?
And then you realize that something similar to what happened in Zagreus happened in The End of Time, when Ten's regeneration blew up the console room. That must have hurt.
Goldilocks is the single scariest Doctor Who villain ever. Mechanical puppet voiced by Bonnie Langford? Hilarious. Mechanical puppet voiced by Bonnie Langford who will brainwash you with fairy dust and is working for the Divergents? Really scary.
Mmm. Way before the Time Lords went the way of the Daleks and tried their hand at friggin' Davros' plan to utterly annihilate all of reality in order to remain as incorporeal gods, good old Rassilon was already quite the monstrous leader. The things created in the Foundry by him in Zagreus prove that the Time Lords had to be completely desperate or utterly nuts to release him from the Divergent universe to lead them against the Daleks. And how he broke the Doctor and reshaped him into the monstrosity Zagreus was quite horrific itself. What's worse, the Dogma Virus and Romana's escape into the Axis with Narvin and Braxiatel as seen in the Gallifrey audios goes a long way in explaining how the Time Lords would get as desperate and nuts to release him.
Scherzo, which follows Zagreus, is drive-you-crazy horrifying in its simplicity— it's a "two hander" with no special effects, but they make completely disturbing use of it. The Doctor and Charley are trapped in a long white hallway, completely silent, and start to slowly lose all feeling and sense of time (which for the Doctor especially is like having a limb ripped off). Then they start coming across bodies, which look like Charley, which they eat, as they have no other sustenance. And that is all before they discover there's something in there with them that's stealing their voices...
I'm listening to Scherzo right now and it is such a Mind Screw. The way there are suddenly bursts of noise, like at the end of part 3. Then there is Paul McGann as Charley's "daughter" and the sudden burst of noise when Charley refuses to let "her" have the brooch. And the squelching when the Doctor and Charley become one. The sound drives you insane, my head feels so strange, the sound is a wave eroding the cliffsof sanity...
The Natural History of Fear. The fact that it's one colossal Mind Screw / Tomato Surprise is bad enough, but you don't truly know scary Who until you've listened to Paul McGann's silky smooth voice spouting Orwellian propaganda as he lobotomies a woman who's awake for the whole time.
"You may think the worst thing I can do to you is hurt you..."
Normally, evil Eight is on the hammy side, but in this one he's... not. Not even remotely. And it is straight-up goddamn terrifying. The Editor isn't some monstrous creature like Zagreus; he's a normal person who's a little too good at his job, and who seems to take a little too much quiet satisfaction in his work. Well, seems to. Things get weird. Paul McGann is one of a very few people who can be sexy and utterly scary at the same time... using just his voice. It must be heard to be believed.
Son of the Dragon, featuring Special Guest Star Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula. The fun kicks off with the Fifth Doctor and friends landing in a village which has been turned into a massive graveyard of slaughter involving a forest of impaled villagers on spikes.
Night Thoughts: The Doctor and his companions trapped on an island mansion during a storm with no electricity, a ghostly spectre of a woman drowning in the lake and a hooded creature that likes to whistle while removing people's eyes? Don't listen to this baby at night.
Things you'll never ever ever want to see again after this story: Taxidermied bears, stuffed toy rabbits, beartraps. What's worse is that ending... oh god the ending. Where the Major gets his eyes gouged out by the zombie child/evil toy rabbit and not only do you hear him scream, not only does the monster whistle that jaunty tune, but you also get to hear the actual sounds of his face being cut into and his eyes being removed.
Likewise, Horror of Glam Rock is a pretty humorous installment... except for the bit where you hear the people in the parking lot get torn to bits. With lots of squishy, meaty sounds and screaming.Yeeesh.
The Chimes of Midnight: Sweet Jesus, Chimes is freaky. Nothing is freakier than a place that's abandoned and shouldn't be. A reality that endlessly replays itself, trying to trap you inside? That takes "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and makes it creepy?
For best effect, listen to it late at night in an empty street, close to the witching hour. BONG... BONG... BONG...
...ish. Words cannot describe how creepy it is when people get taken over and just start mass chanting "ish, ish, ish" over and over again.
Or Book's mental breakdowns concerning the definitions of the word ish note ish? ish? ish. ish. ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ish! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH! ISH!or maybe Prof. Osefa and Book's discussions on the "birthcries of the universe" backed up by some truly freaky electronic music.
The worst part of Master was the whispers. Gods, the raspy, cackling whispers, just in the background. "All who hear my voice will die." Coming very nearly in second was Jade's Wham Line while washing dishes:
They say he sits inside your head, they say he lives among the dead, they say he eats you when you're—What an odd verse. They say he sits inside your head...
Axis Of Insanity is not bad either. "The lunatics... have taken over the asylum!" Good grief, but that line is creepy. And then you find out that reality is melting around the Doctor.
Spare Parts. It's a story about the creation of the Cybermen, so it's inevitably pretty creepy. One standout moment is when a person you've met previously is cyberconverted, but only partially. They return to their family confused and the father, who thinks that she's just in the "workcrew outfit" tries to pull her cloth mask off and she screams in the horrible cyberman voice. The ending has you thinking that the Doctor has prevented the Cybermen turning evil and stopped further cyber-conversion, but then the Cybercommander suddenly turns out to be alive. "We will begin again"
Caerdroia. "I'm the nasty one." And "Of course I will!"
Mission of the Viyrans. Starts with Peri chatting with the Doctor after a fun night on a party planet. He seems distracted. Then he starts vacantly repeating everything she says. Then he painfully, graphically transforms into a clone of her. Thus begins the most Mind Screw Big Finish has ever packed into 30 minutes. Happylistening!
The Blue Tooth from the Companion Chronicles series is flat-out terrifying, made more so by playing off an incredibly common fear. Think you dreaded going to the dentist before? Now imagine said dentist wants to infect you with living metal that slowly, painfully turns you into a Cyberman. Also, CybermatsCRAWLING AROUND UNDER YOUR SKIN.
The Reaping has one of the most beautifully understated threats you've ever heard, courtesy of the Cyber-Leader:
We have your companions, Doctor. You will assist us, or their deaths will be...emotional.
In The Genocide Machine, the robot duplicate of Ace grabs Cataloguer Prink by the neck.
Robot Ace: "You humans are so fragile. All I have to do is twist..." *crack* "...and you die."
The Apocalypse Element was the ''Dalek'' of the audio series. It managed to portray the Daleks as a credible threat without use of Conservation of Ninjutsu to help them. In the story the Daleks take a planetoid out of time and space, kidnap Lady President Romana, trap a delegation of ambassadors on a planet and steer the aforementioned planetoid into it, killing millions. Then they bypass the transduction barrier and invade Gallifrey, ripping peoples' eyes out to bypass the retinal scans and killing the guards in a Curb-Stomp Battle. THEN they detonate a volatile element mined from the planetoid, which destroys a whole galaxy and almost the entire universe, killing billions. Do not mess with the Daleks.
Jubilee has one of the most scary, if not scariest, uses of EX-TER-MI-NATE in Doctor Who. It occurs at the Dalek's execution, but it is not said by the Dalek. It is instead the chants of the human crowd as they prepare to kill the creature who has been tortured for a century. It reinforces the Humans Are the Real Monsters message of the audio and shows, without a doubt, that the human race has become no better than the Daleks. Just think about that. The Doctor sums it up rather well.
The Doctor: The Daleks were genetically bred to kill. What excuse do you have?
What happens to Charley in "Patient Zero". She is infected by Mila meaning she gradually fades away while Mila takes her appearance. She is left invisible, inaudible and unable to tell the Doctor what is happening.
Lucie Miller/To the Death was clearly this. The Earth being invaded after a terrible plague, the Doctor showing up years late, and the ending to Lucie Miller where the Doctor is on a Dalek Saucer which is being torpedoed, Susan and Lucie realising too late... And even though he survives he is left in a coma.
The Dalek Time Controller's plan is absolutely horrific. It plans to pilot Earth through time to infect it with the Amethyst viruses, then pilot it around the Universe, infecting any world that comes under its influence. And with Cruel Mercy it wants to leave the Doctor on Earth, he will survive long enough to watch humanity die from the plagues.
The Dalek Time Controller itself is pure Nightmare Fuel. Just it's creepy sing-song voice, not to mention how it seems far more evil than any other of it's kind. Just be thankful Steven Moffat hasn't been able to bring it into the Tv Series.
The Eminence are becoming this, a threat so terrible the Doctor is willing to work with his Arch-Enemy the Dalek Time Controller to stop them. They are a Super Smoke from the end of time that turn people into zombies. And to demonstrate there is an image on the cover of Times Horizon. Here it is◊.
"The Fourth Wall" has a fictional character being brought into reality, and realising that in the world of his TV show (Laser, starring Jerk Ass hero Jack Laser), he's the villain:
Krarn: Itís called... ĎLaserí.
Scullop: The show, yes.
Scullop: Because heís the lead, heís the hero.
Krarn: I see.
Scullop: Is something the matter?
Krarn:(with horror) Iím the bad guy.
Krarn: He destroys my happiness, kills my wife. And yet I am the bad guy.