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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 013 The Shadow Of The Scourge

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This episode, written by Paul Cornell, was the first Big Finish audio to explicitly take place in the Doctor Who New Adventures timeline rather than the Big Finish timeline (specifically, it and "The Dark Flame" are set between "All-Consuming Fire" and "Blood Harvest"). It's also the first Big Finish Doctor Who episode to star Professor Bernice Summerfield, who had already had her own Big Finish series for a few years.

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The Seventh Doctor takes Bernice and Ace to a hotel where three conventions are held: one on aerospace engineering, one on new age channelling, and one on cross-stitching. The aerospace scientists have developed a new technology that might, one day, lead to time travel. The leader of the new age cult, Annie, is a charlatan who's tricking her followers into believing she can contact "The Great Ohm". She's very confused when it turns out she's actually psychic and "Ohm" is really an Eldritch Abomination called the Scourge, which uses the new technology to transport the entire hotel into a space/time void.

The Scourge turn out to feed on despair, and have inspired much of human religion (most notably the idea of hell, which is very very real and full of hungry Scourge). They've enlisted the Doctor as their servant. Seven tries to play cat and mouse with them, but they manage to transform him into one of their own, sending his morphed body into a deep coma and absorbing his mind into their collective consciousness. Benny and Ace are forced to work together with people from all three conventions in order to contact the Doctor and withstand the Scourge. The Doctor is part of the Scourge, the Scourge are part of the humans they possess, the humans are inside the hotel, the hotel is inside the void and the void is part of the Scourge's mind. Like nested Russian dolls trying to eat each other. While Bernice jumps into the Doctor's mind (with Annie's help) to drag him back to reality, Ace makes herself immune to the Scourge's words by having someone destroy her ear drums and sets about getting the hotel back into the regular universe. In the end, the Doctor manages to work one of the organisers of the cross-stitching convention like a ventriloquist's doll, uses the guy's body to manipulate the TARDIS and contain the Scourge's dimensional meddling, and starts Talking the Monster to Death. The Power of Friendship saves the day.

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