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Nightmare Fuel / Big Finish Doctor Who

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What is inside the TARDIS?

"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"

Just like its parent series, Big Finish Doctor Who has some rather unsettling moments.

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The Monthly Range

    Fifth 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."
  • Creatures of Beauty. The Doctor and Nyssa drop out of the Vortex for a second, just enough to gather their bearings... which is just long enough for the TARDIS to smash into a ship illegally transporting enormous tanks full of contaminants, spreading all of it into a lush, developing world and transforming it into a dying, nightmarish ecological disaster and dooming its people to horrifying genetic degradations. And the worst part is, they don't even know they're responsible...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Happy listening!

    Sixth Doctor 
  • The Apocalypse Element. 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 and hold her prisoner for twenty years, trap a delegation of ambassadors on a planet and steer the aforementioned planetoid towards it. The plan actually succeeds, killing millions in the process. Then they bypass the transduction barrier and invade Gallifrey, ripping the eyes out of citizens to bypass retinal scanners and killing 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. In short, do not mess with the Daleks.
  • The Holy Terror starts off as a light-hearted satire of Medieval Morons and ends up Mood Whiplashing you into a gruesome Kill 'Em All Downer Ending orchestrated by the Enfant Terrible to end all Enfant Terribles.
  • ...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.
  • Jubilee, being the original inspiration for the Series 1 episode "Dalek", 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?
  • 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.
  • Bedtime Story, one of the shorts from 100, is incredibly dark. The Doctor meets a man named Jacob, whose family is under a curse in which parents always die as soon as they become grandparents. Then it turns out they're not really dead, they're frozen in time but still aware, so countless generations have been buried alive, completely conscious until their minds broke. Then there's the ending which reveals the narrator, who we assumed was Jacob telling a story to his grandchild after the Doctor broke the curse, is actually the psychotic shapeshifting alien creature who was behind the curse to begin with...
  • 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.
  • "The Fourth Wall" has a fictional character being brought into reality, and realising that in the world of his TV show (Laser, starring Jerkass hero Jack Laser), he's the villain:
    Krarn: It’s called... ‘Laser’.
    Scullop: The show, yes.
    Krarn: Why?
    Scullop: Because he’s the lead, he’s the hero.
    Krarn: I see.
    Scullop: Is something the matter?
    Krarn: (with horror) I’m the bad guy.
    Scullop: Yes.
    Krarn: He destroys my happiness, kills my wife. And yet I am the bad guy.

    Seventh Doctor 
  • 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 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 one that nastily targets how sensitive eyes are. Fortunately, Ace (the intended victim) had burst her own eardrums, giving herself immunity.
  • Dust Breeding makes inventively sinister use of Edvard Munch's already decidedly unsettling "The Scream." The Warp Core, an incorporeal entity of "unreasoning hate," is revealed to have taken refuge in the unsuspecting painter, thereby inducing a sense of overwhelming horror, with the sky having turned to "coagulated blood." By way of possessing the Doctor, the Warp Core introduces itself.
    Warp Core: I frighten you, don't I?
    Ace: Yes...
    Warp Core: It's what I was built for. I am every death you can possibly imagine! I am blood, and tongues of fire!
  • Nobody No-One is an ax-crazy, utterly deranged being from another dimension with ridiculously overpowered godlike abilities that allow him to do more or less whatever he wants, provided he hears someone say he can. And he's very, very good at provoking people to say the magic words: "Nobody can do that...".
  • Master. As you may have guessed from the title, it prominently features you-know-who, and it's not the suave, here-come-the-drums, Magnificent Bastard Master, either. It's the skeleton-looking, Ax-Crazy psychopath Master. Basically, it's And Then There Were None meets Jack the Ripper as a homicidal Time Lord, but it's WAY freakier (and more tragic) than that. One last thing: you know how one of the Doctor's names is "Time's Champion"? The Master is Death's Champion. You will never look at For the Evulz the same way again.
    • The Doctor showing why he keeps trying so hard to redeem the Master even after all the horror and suffering he keeps spreading. When the Doctor and the Master were kids, a bully very nearly killed the Master, and the Doctor killed him in retaliation. That night, Death came for the Doctor, to make him her Champion. The terrified Doctor instead chose to give the Master to Death, and was later forced to acknowledge the possiblity it was always meant for the Master to be the guy who keeps saving galaxy after galaxy, and that he was the one who was supposed to blow up chunks of the universe and massacring species for fun.
    • 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...
  • Not only are the described events of Live 34 horrifying— but the fact that Ace, who is usually completely cool in the face of danger, is completely and utterly broken, so much that she can barely speak by the end. Just the thought of what she might have gone through to get to that point is... well... eek.
  • 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.
    • Will you walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly...
    • Things you'll never ever ever want to see again after this story: Taxidermied bears, stuffed toy rabbits, bear traps. 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.
  • Red. Ax-Crazy as The Virus. And Friend Computer in charge decides the best way of stopping the spread is to burn out your brain. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red...


    Eighth Doctor 
  • 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...
  • Zagreus, who provides the page quote. A Monster from Gallifreyan nursery rhymes who comes into being at the end of "Neverland" by taking over the Eighth Doctor.
    • The fun kicks off at the very beginning of the audio play "Neverland", where you hear the thousands of voices in the Time Lords' Matrix desperately trying to keep history on track... and failing.
    Matrix AIs: I... can't remember... I can't remember! I CAN'T REMEMBER!! *shudder*
    • 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
    • The show 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 eventually 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...
    • It's also 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, like a wave eroding the cliffs of 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.
  • Caerdroia. "I'm the nasty one." And "Of course I will!"
  • Terror Firma: Davros manages to Mind Rape the Doctor and his companions to within an inch of the Despair Event Horizon, and the centre of the new Dalek Empire is... Earth. Revenge by Proxy on a massive scale, indeed.

Other ranges

     New Eighth Doctor Adventure's 

  • 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.
  • 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 its creepy sing-song voice, not to mention how it seems far more evil than any other of its kind. Just be thankful Steven Moffat hasn't been able to bring it into the TV Series. YET.
    • The Doctor yelling at the Monk for thinking an apology would right the wrongs of his actions. For an incarnation normally defined as being happy-go-lucky and naïve, it's incredibly unnerving to hear him just lose control.

    Other Eighth Doctor ranges 

  • The Eminence, first introduced in the main range and then later became one of the main threats in "Dark Eyes", are becoming this. They're 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.
  • As a follow-up to Rassilon's insanity, the Doctor eventually learns that Time Lord society was already rotting long before the Time War. A member of the High Council checked the Matrix for future projections and found that Gallifrey was destroyed in virtually every timeline, save for those in which it was the only planet in existence. His answer? Found a group of Time Lord madmen to implement a plan to make the Time Lords truly immortal and damn the cost to the rest of existence. This group's name? The Doom Coalition.
  • The sheer horror of the Time War cannot be overstated. Across the audios, the Time Lords descend into the same depths as the Daleks in a monstrous, endless struggle, matching them so equally they feel there cannot possibly be any hope for victory other than increasingly desperate Hail Mary passes as both sides keep smashing across threshold after threshold, each time with even less to lose. At one point, the War Valeyard successfully engineers a plan that eradicates the Daleks entirely from the timeline. And just to show how goddamn scary the tinpots are, just as everyone's trying to catch their breath and revel in a job well done, they come back, more pissed than ever. Even the Doctor has never dared to go through with eradicating them and this is why - the Time Lords have made the Daleks angry and, even worse, made it personal..


    I, Davros 

  • In the second part of this mini-series, Purity, we see first hand where Davros gets his manipulative and murderous tendencies from; his mother, Calcula. To elaborate, she tricks his sister, Yarvell, into revealing the fact that she inadvertently put Davros' life in danger by warning the Thal's about a mission he was on. How does she do this? By lying to her that Davros was killed. And then, to make things worse, Calcula drowns Yarvell, her own daughter, for accidentally putting Davros' life at risk!
    • And then Davros decides to use her dead body for his experiments! He even taunts her about how she always hated science but now she's "helping" him with it.


    Special Releases 
Sixth DoctorOther
  • The Light at the End. The Doctor looks into a doll house, and finds the Master's been a-calling...
    The Doctor (breathless with horror): Mr Dovie - I wonder, would you mind describing your wife and children to me?
  • The War Master: The entire range shows what happens if the Doctor isn't around to stop the Master's schemes. Worse yet, it's a Last Great Time War range, so the Master has absolutely no reason to hold back, making both his triumphs and defeats that much more horrifying in their scope.
    • In The Master of Callous, he casually drives one of his victims to insanity and suicide without even physically being with her. And when he finally pops into scene, he just regards the corpse with mild annoyance - now there's nobody to move the loot to his ship and he'll have to do it himself.
    • In The Heavenly Paradigm, we finally find out just what Chaos is too much for the Master: The Daleks taking the Cruciform. The Master is horrified and flees to the end of the Universe to get away from the sheer disaster of it all. You know it's bad... when the Master, who would pour gasoline on a bonfire just for the hell of it, runs away from chaos.

    The Companion Chronicles 
Third Doctor
  • 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, Cybermats CRAWLING AROUND UNDER YOUR SKIN.
Eighth Doctor