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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 142 The Demons Of Red Lodge

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An anthology of four tales featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.

The Demons of Red Lodge

The Doctor and Nyssa wake up in a little woodshed with no idea where they are—or why they're both so terrified they can hardly control themselves. They don't know where they are, where the TARDIS is, or why the old lady who takes them in seems dead set against the Doctor seeing her dying sister ...

The Entropy Composition

The Doctor takes Nyssa to a repository of music from all throughout history to let her listen to a composition from Traken. But when she goes in to listen, they find that the music has been destroyed and in its place is a noise that can physically tear a person apart. It can't be allowed to hang around the musical archive, wiping out music from all over history, so the Doctor and Nyssa go back to its source to try and stop it. Conveniently, its source is 1960s England ...

Doing Time

Specifically: jail time on a human colony called Folly, and it's the Doctor who's stuck doing it. He's been given two years for apparently threatening to blow up the prison. The prison will explode, he says, but it's not his doing, and all he wants is for someone to believe him and evacuate the prisoners before it's too late.

Meanwhile, Nyssa's attempts to get herself arrested and join him in jail don't go nearly so well. She can't get in, the Doctor can't get out, and the prison governor isn't nearly as aboveboard as she wants the colonists to believe.

Special Features

The Doctor and Nyssa do a DVD Commentary! But the original DVD isn't perfectly mundane; not with actors, directors and writers mysteriously dying, footage disappearing, and the TARDIS team showing up just in time to snag themselves co-starring roles. They're not doing the commentary just because they can, either. They've come back, twenty-five years after the movie was made, for a reason.


  • Acting for Two: In-Universe; Sir Jack played Dr Demonic in the frame-sequence of Dr Demonic's Tales of Terror, and the Professor in The Devil's Whisper (and, apparently, two other roles in the other two sections of the film).
  • Anthology Film: "Special Features" has an Amicus Productions style horror movie, complete with Cryptkeeper-esque Horror Host.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Nyssa, in the movie in "Special Features".
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  • Bizarre Tastein Food: Jeff Cooper in Entropy Composition has been eating nothing but Marmite and biscuits for the last 2 weeks.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Nyssa briefly adopts a Mockney accent in "Entropy Composition" while claiming to be a groupie. It's gone in the next scene and Mrs M doesn't seem to notice.
  • Brown Note: Primal sonics, in "The Entropy Composition".
    • There's a Rasht phrase that would kill anybody with a parasite inside their brain in "Special Features". If it's heard by the Nursemaid it breaks free all the children, otherwise all die.
  • Call-Back: The Doctor and Nyssa refer to Pudding Lane and fire.
    • Nyssa's half-form recalls the events of The Keeper of Traken.
    • The events of "Demons of Red Lodge" are briefly mentioned by Martin in "Special Features", as another legend from the same area as The Devil's Whisper.
    • In "Doing Time", Nyssa says she's learning more about telebiogenesis.
  • Call-Forward: The Doctor says the vegetable in his lapel is "Decorative".
    • The "Primal sonics" are a form of sound that was around before the universe was created by nuclear synthesis, which Nyssa dubs "The Music of the Spheres".
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    • The Doctor organized the prison library by the Dewey system, been in the kitchens and improved the nutrients of the prison food, set up night classes for spaceship maintenance, helped the release of 18 prisoners since he started with counselling, started up a cricket tournament and written the Christmas Panto. On the first morning, reflecting how the Eleventh Doctor was like in the Power of Three.
  • Captain Ersatz: The alien creatures in "Red Lodge" are Invaders in all but name.
  • Captivity Harmonica: In "Doing Time".
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': Nyssa's attempts to get arrested in "Doing Time". She steals a bracelet from a jewelry stall, but the stall's owner turns out to have stolen all his wares anyway, so he's arrested and she's released. Then she tries breaking into a warehouse, but manages to choose the only empty one on the estate. When she is arrested, it's because she was framed.
  • Creepy Monotone: The half formed Spiro in "Red Lodge".
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: The "Primal sonics" are a "theoretical" (as in gravity is a theory) form of sound which function like a virus infecting other sounds. Exposure disintegrates everything organic it touches.
  • Double Meaning: "Doing Time" refers to both the prison, and the concept of Year Inside, Hour Outside.
  • Dramatic Thunder: When the Doctor mentions the "movie curse" and there is a pause and someone mentions the victim's name, and THUNDER CLAP.
  • Energy Beings: Namedropped by the Doctor in "Special Features".
  • Eureka Moment: In "Entropy Composition", Nyssa mentions a feedback loop, which gives the Doctor a plan based on the fact there are two versions of the composition at different time-space co-ordinates.
  • Evil Laugh: The Entropy Siren.
  • Famous, Famous, Fictional: According to the archivist, the entropy siren destroyed the works of Bach and two future composers, one of whom died in a Robot Rebellion.
  • Go-to Alias: Using "John Smith" gets the Doctor incarcerated on the planet Folly.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: The Doctor says he has respect for all forms of life.
    The Doctor: Unless you happen to have an eye-stalk and a fondness of exterminating galaxies.
  • Horror Host: Doctor Demonic in "Special Features".
  • Knight Templar: Governor Chaplin.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Doctor and Nyssa when they wake up in the Red Lodge.
  • Loveable Rogue: Janson Hart.
  • Meaningful Name: Planet "Folly".
  • Mythology Gag: According to the production notes, the cast in Special Features is (aside from Peter Davison) acting like commentators on the Fifth Doctor DVD's, Johanna Bourke would randomly stop her train of thought to comment on clothing just like Janet Fielding (Tegan) does.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Doctor goes to prevent an explosion in one of the largest prisons in existence. But by trying to prevent it the Doctor gives an evil bureaucrat the idea to stage the explosion using the means she has at her prison to use as a political campaign, ensuring the explosion.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Doctor accuses the Rasht Nursemaid of this.
  • Ominous Fog: The shed in the Red Lodge is surrounded by it.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: In "Entropy Composition" Nyssa somehow knows enough about the rock scene to convincingly claim she met "the Coop" in a club and he invited her back to see his pad, but not what this implies.
  • Planet of Hats: Folly in Doing Time is a criminal planet with large portions of prison.
  • Prison Episode: The Doctor spends the entirety of "Doing Time" inside prison.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Special Features", the Doctor pulls out "Bibidi Babidi Buu" and "Klaatu Barada Nikto" when trying to confuse someone with gibberish.
    • The opening of "Doing Time", with Janson's sentence being intoned by the judge, is an homage to the opening of Porridge. The judge even gives Janson's middle name as Fletcher.
    • Also, Nyssa gets sent to H Block.
  • Spot the Imposter: Played with. Spiro!Nyssa tries to pass as the real one, and the Doctor rather impatiently points out she's still half-formed and is obviously feeding on the original Nyssa.
  • Stomach of Holding: Jabreth has one.
  • Take That Me:
    "You haven't heard that many DVD commentaries have you?"
  • Time Dilation Field: Around the prison in "Doing Time", to discourage attempted escapes.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Doctor's second heart gets copied into the Spiro biological mass and they all receive 1/100th of a heart, which is unable to function and leaves them bleeding out.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: In "Doing Time", Governor Chaplain allows the force field surrounding the prison to go down while she hosting a TV crew and there is a large number of prisoners in the yard. Several of the prisoners make a break for it, but it is actually a set up to allow the film crew to capture are efficient she is at handling a crisis as part of her campaign for president.
  • The Unintelligible: Jabreth the alien on Folly in "Doing Time".
  • Wardens Are Evil: Governor Chaplain who runs her prison with an iron fist. She never grants parole, and anyone who applies for it is automatically sentenced to a period in solitary confinement, determined by her whim. During a visit by a TV crew, she allows some prisoners to try to escape, she can be seen stopping, and finally attempts to blow up the prison, and everyone in it, to give her a crisis she can be seen managing to win the presidential election.
  • Wizard Beard: The Doctor grows one in after spending years trying to cross a courtyard in "Doing Time."
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Nyssa wants to look at a sunrise, after having to deal with the painful memories of how she lost both her father and Traken to The Master.

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