Blind Terror: The Gods of Frost is the latest Big Finish Original, yet another amazing convocation of Big Finish talent. Eve Myles stars in a story she asked be made — after enjoying Guy Adams’s horror-themed Torchwood scripts, she wanted him to write her an original one. Well, after enjoying them myself, I wanted to hear it. Myles and Adams are joined by Torchwood regular Scott Handcock directing, in an early twentieth century tale of horror.
Myles plays Kathryn Ellis, a widow newly arrived at Hodder Hall in the position of housekeeper; the family at this remote country house are a brother and sister, one focused on his books, one on her own peculiar obsessions. The previous housekeeper disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and Mrs Ellis is being haunted by some ghosts of her own…
To be honest, I wanted to like this more than I ended up liking it. Adams’s horror-themed Torchwood stories are usually survival thrillers, but while that works in a one-hour format, it won’t for a three-hour one. Blind Terror is six half-hour episodes, each usually set a little bit of time after the last, each adding a piece to the puzzle of Hodder Hall. But because of that, I felt like Blind Terror never quite came into focus, never had a driving, pulsing fear to it like Adams’s Torchwood tales. It’s sort of like, one weird thing happens, then another, then another, and it’s not until Part Four or Five that it’s particularly clear what we’re supposed to be afraid of. It does feel at times like the story is just piling stuff on instead of working with what’s already there; one episode begins with a flash-forward to the present day where ghost hunters discover something terrible happened at Hodder Hall, but I didn’t really get why.
Eve Myles is good, of course, and I also enjoyed the performances of Gareth Jewell as Daniel, and Bradley Freegard. There are often striking moments or scenes; one death in the snow was really quite creepy, especially thanks to the way it was narrated, and Eve Myles at the story’s climax was tremendous — so much pain and desperation in her voice as she pleads you really do believe she’s gone through everything you’ve heard. On the other hand, though I remember him doing good work in other stories (especially Cascade), I didn’t think Rob Harvey’s sound work always succeeded. The snowscapes were sufficiently evoked, and if I never hear “comedy” music in a Big Finish again, it won’t be soon enough.
Like a lot of the Big Finish Originals, this shows off the diverse range of skills at the company. It’s an entertaining slice of horror that reveals what its creators can do outside of the Doctor Who/Torchwood format.
Blind Terror: The Gods of Frost (by Guy Adams; starring Eve Myles) was released by Big Finish Productions in October 2018.