It was written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Nicholas Briggs. It featured the Fifth Doctor and Turlough. This meant that Mark Strickson became the first televised companion to reprise his role for Big Finish, as the preceding Big Finish audio, The Sirens of Time, was a companion-less adventure.
Publisher's summary Edit
The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Turlough to the London of 1702 where a mysterious highwayman roams the streets, a local occultist has made contact with the dead and gentlemen of fashion are disappearing, only to find themselves in a chamber whose walls weep blood...
It’s London, 8 March 1702, and King William has just died. We join some locals in the Diabola Club, celebrating the king’s death and the ascension of his successor with some drinking, gambling, and—as always—gossip. Something isn’t right, however; the mysterious Sir Nikolas Valentine, playing cards alone, is not what he seems…and people are going missing. Meanwhile, the Fifth Doctor arrives, accompanied by Vislor Turlough, arriving inside the house of Dr. Samuel Holywell, a collector of antiquities and oddities. The Doctor and Turlough quickly get separated; Turlough is involved in a carriage accident in the street, and is taken in by two friends from the club, Jeake and Flowers, who tend his injuries. Meanwhile, a third man—Carteret, a friend of Jeake and Flowers—dies in the street, apparently from fright, leading the Doctor to investigate.
The investigation leads the Doctor and the others first to Holywell’s maid, Hannah, and then to a flamboyant highwayman named Major Billy Lovemore; and in the biggest twist of this story, the two are revealed to be one. Hannah/Lovemore is not of earth; she’s not a shapeshifter, as it seems at a glance, but rather, is simply accomplished at disguises, and possessed of a voice changer as well. She has made her way to Earth to apprehend Valentine, who is also in disguise; beneath it, he is an otherworldly criminal known as Carthok of Daodalus. Hannah’s vendetta is personal; in addition to many other deaths, he killed her parents. Stranded on Earth with a damaged ship, he has been kidnapping people to provide bio-organic repairs to his ship. If he escapes, he will destroy the city in the process. The Doctor successfully thwarts him by turning his own technology against him; and Hannah sacrifices herself to destroy him. The Doctor and Turlough then program the ship to self-destruct.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Turlough - Mark Strickson
- Sir Nikolas Valentine - David Ryall
- Dr. Samuel Holywell - Steven Wickham
- Quincy Flowers / Ned Cotton - David Walliams
- Edmund Carteret - Jonathan Rigby
- Jasper Jeake - Mark Gatiss
- Poltrot / Major Billy Lovemore / Librarian - Jez Fielder
- Hannah Fry - Julia Dalkin
- Henry Gaunt - Nicholas Briggs
- Hannah is given brandy to settle her nerves.
- The Doctor gives Turlough his 1928 edition of Wisden Almanack.
- The Doctor considers cricket to be "the greatest game in the universe", and gives Turlough an extended lecture about it.
- The story takes place on the day that William of Orange died: 8 March 1702.
- The Doctor and Valentine play patience.
- Jasper learned of Edmund's death from Mother Connitt.
- This story was originally released as a double cassette as well as a double CD. It was one of very few Big Finish audio dramas to be released on cassette.
- This audio drama was recorded on 26 and 27 June 1999 at The Nu Groove Studios.
- Charles Dickens refers to the titular word in Mark Gatiss' first TV story, The Unquiet Dead.
- Alistair Lock's soundtrack to the story was released on CD in Music from the New Audio Adventures Volume 1, alongside the scores for The Fearmonger, The Marian Conspiracy and The Spectre of Lanyon Moor.
- It is the first Big Finish audio story to feature only one incarnation of the Doctor which in this case is the fifth, making him the first Doctor to have a Big Finish story where there is only the one actor playing the Doctor.
- Turlough enjoyed studying history at Brendon Public School on Earth in 1983. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- The Doctor finds a cricket ball and a ball of string in his pocket. (TV: Four to Doomsday)
- The Doctor tells Turlough that he has seen — and was very impressed by — a Type 70 TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time)
- Official Phantasmagoria page at bigfinish.com; note that it is out of print and is available as download only.
- DisContinuity for Phantasmagoria at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide