The Haunting of Thomas Brewster (audio story)

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The Haunting of Thomas Brewster was the one hundred and seventh story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Jonathan Morris and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and introduced John Pickard as new companion, Thomas Brewster.

Possessed of a plot laden with time paradoxes, its resolution depended on contradicting another Fifth Doctor story, Time Crash, as well as the Nyssa story Logopolis, and even The Claws of Axos. In those earlier televised stories, materialising one TARDIS around another caused massive problems. Here, the Doctor solved the central plot issue by spending much of the fourth episode liberally materialising his TARDIS inside of itself multiple times, much to Nyssa's confusion and fear.

Like another Fifth Doctor audio, The Kingmaker, it posited a significant period of separation between the Doctor and his companion. While the earlier story put years onto Peri and Erimem's lives, this one allowed the Doctor to spend about a year away from Nyssa, who experienced no period away from the Doctor at all. In that Victorian year, the Doctor lived on Baker Street in London with a male assistant called Robert McIntosh, grew a beard, and pursued a number of academic interests. Though few details of their adventures in this "missing year" were given, it was certainly possible to infer that their adventures were not unlike those of a more sociable Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

In addition to the "timey-wimey-ness", the narrative structure was further complicated by unusual switches in perspective. The first episode came close to being told entirely in the first person, from Brewster's perspective, while the final three reverted to a more standard, Doctor-focused third person. Even so, however, they were peppered with occasional moments of Brewster's narration. Additionally, the soundtrack used both diegetic and extra-diegetic music to help reinforce the time setting of various scenes.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

A new adventure in time and space for the Fifth Doctor and his companion Nyssa.

Thomas Brewster is haunted by the ghost of his drowned mother. But she is not the only apparition to disturb his dreams. Every few years, he is visited by a mysterious blue box...

Helped by his new assistant, the young Scottish scientist Robert McIntosh, the Fifth Doctor struggles to unravel the twisted knot of temporal implausibilities which bind the TARDIS to Thomas Brewster. Meanwhile, lost in the stews of Victorian London, Nyssa must face a host of spectral creatures, gathering in the fog.


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London locations[[edit]]


  • Over the course of the year which he spent living in Victorian London, the Doctor becomes a well known and well respected figure in scientific circles under the name of Dr. Walters, in spite of his apparent youth. He grew a beard to make himself appear older than his youthful appearance suggested. Nyssa finds his new facial hair laughable. He has engaged Dr. Robert McIntosh as his new assistant. However, McIntosh remains ignorant of the Doctor's status as a Time Lord until after Nyssa's arrival in 1867.
  • Brewster's first memory is of his mother's funeral in 1851.
  • Brewster is able to access the TARDIS by stealing the key which Nyssa keeps in her left breast pocket.
  • The TARDIS wine cellar contains a bottle of 1784 Madeira which belonged to Benjamin Franklin.


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