BBV's Audio Adventures in Time and Space
Guests for the Night

Format Compact Disc The CD cover
Running Time 60 mins
Produced by BBV

With Sylvester McCoy as "The Professor", Sophie Aldred as "Ace",
Julia Akerman as "Nanny", Oliver Bradshaw as "Webster",
Max Day as "Daniel", Catherine Debenham-Taylor as "Cecily",
and Nigel Fairs as "Harold".
Sound Engineer: Alistair Lock,
Post-production and music: Harvey Summers,
Directed by Nigel Fairs, Assistant Producer: John Ainsworth
Producer Bill Baggs.

Synopsis: In search of the legendary 'Point of Stillness', the Professor and Ace find themselves in an old house, steeped in evil. Who is the ancient woman in the attic? Why are there so many clocks? And did the butler really do it?


A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 8/12/98

The most recent of BBV`s Audio Adventures pulls off a clever trick by setting a story within a story. And it is to the credit of Nigel Fairs that Guests for the Night is such an enjoyable tale. The story`s premise sees The Professor and Ace searching for The Point of Stillness but instead coming across an ancient and seemingly empty house. However, upon entering, it appears that they have journeyed in time, and together with Daniel, a traveller searching for his sister, they are soon guests of some strange hosts.

The supporting cast actually play cliched characters in a cliched situation in perhaps a homage to the Hammer Horror films. The residents of the house are in themselves quite amusing, being upper class: Cecily and Harold, brother and sister, are perhaps the wierdest. One moment they`re bickering like children, the next Cecily is lusting after The Professor, and Harold has similair feelings for Daniel. The Butler, Webster, has sinister plans for Ace, the character being reminiscent of an evil First Doctor. And Nanny an arithiritic, swearing cockney is for the most part unnecessary, appearing for only a short time.

The Professor/Ace relationship actually doesn`t seem any stronger, (especially as the last two adventures concentrated on Ace), but is still convincing enough. To the credit of the players, they manage to act out Guests for the Night without sniggering at some of the dialogue. Everything here seems to fall into place, two seperate yet believable and coherent storylines, sound effects to match and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an hour when its raining outside. Easily the best of the Audio Adventures thus far.

A Review by Richard Radcliffe 15/8/02

An old house in the future. The Professor and Ace striving to find the mysterious point of stillness. A house full of eccentric characters. The inspirations for this audio are clear.

The production values are excellent again in Guests. Alistair Lock weaves his usual magic creating the requisite noises that such a house requires. He bettered it with the Big Finish Productions, but his sure hand is evident throughout the BBV early range too.

The writing is pretty good too. Nigel Fairs gives us a particularly gruesome gore-fest, full of bone crunching experiments, skeletons in cupboards, and a totally strange cast of characters. Of the 4 residents it is difficult to know which is the stranger. Is it the Butler Webster (very traditional portrayal here, with a touch of the macabre), is it the Daughter Cecily (prim and proper, thinks she's rather beautiful), is it the Brother Harold (he likes boys and torture you know), is it Nanny (old crone with piercing voice, obsessed with her cooking skills). All are very weird and quite spooky. Good writing, good acting then.

The true highpoint is the music. Harvey Summers (doesn't he have a Clothes Catalogue?) gives us a superbly mysterious score. With echoes of Danny Elfmans majestic Edward Scissorhands, it perfectly accompanies the strange goings on.

Sylv and Sophie are excellent. Sophie has more to do than usual, and it is nice to see that she rescues the Professor for a change. She's the one who doesn't drink the potion, and therefore to a certain extent saves the day. Guests for the Night wasn't quite as good as I wanted it to be, however. Maybe after listening to the magnificent Chimes of Midnight recently gave it some tough competition, and lessened its impact. It's still a good story, just not as brilliant as the setting led me to think it would be. But maybe I am being too harsh, I did enjoy it - and it is wonderful to have more adventures with Sylv and Sophie, whatever they are masquerading as. 7/10

Spending The Night at Spooky Manor by Kathryn Young 28/2/05

I didn't quite know where to place the BBV. It is not an official Doctor Who, but knowing just what Doctor Who people can do when deprived of official sanction amazes me (and knowing what horror they can inflict also amazes me - I have seen Scream of the Shalka).

If the BBC hadn't cancelled it all in 1989 we wouldn't have this problem. But they did and eventually people stopped sending letters and writing bad songs and got shirty and said "well stuff you, if you aren't going to do it - I will". And they did - and the fan audio was born. And then even the actors got a bit shirty and said "well if you pay me, I'll do it" and the BBV was born.

I have to ask, what other show would have its own actors coming back to work in fan productions - and fan productions written and produced by people who had or were going to work in a professional capacity. There are stories written by Lawrence Miles and Rob Shearman for god's sake - and starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Colin Baker and Nick Courtney. There may be a bit of gurning, but it is gurning done on a professional level.

Sylvester and Sophie: just as you remember them.

They may only be The Professor and Ace, but their chemistry could blow up the lab. Ace just teeters on NA protective Ace and whining snotty teenager TV Ace. I could practically see her scuffing her Docs and fingering the nitro nine as she scowls at the Doctor's back.

And Syl: Well I've never considered looking at Sylvester as a potential steak or an out of work interior decorator before, but I am glad I did. By gum they get a good performance out of him. There is no over the top gurning and no high pitched screaming that seems to be indicative of the Big Finish audios - even in Master. He just gives a beautiful even performance that fuses the NA Doc with the TV one in that his performance has gravitas with a dash of ferret stuffing thrown in.

Spooky Manor.

The story is a groovy ghost story set in a spooky house full of spooky, yet witty people who just happen to be dead. Cicely is brilliant. She is always going on about "mummy" and "daddy". I fully expected her to start sending people to Java at some point. She is complemented by her nasty little brother Howard: popping in to the drawing room a la anyone for tennis and saying witty things like "I'm horribly psychic." There is also an American, but he soon dies horribly, so it is all right.

They don't write them like that any more.

The script is so good that it makes me want to write things about "fine wines", "rich and fruity" and "sheer happy little moments of cleverness that make me giggle like a school girl" - but I won't because that would be wanky and would do a disservice to the story. It has a lovely feel of unpretentiousness about it. Big Finish always seems a bit loud - trying just a bit too hard, but this one is just a little interlude in the life of the Prof and Ace.

A lovely gentle, slightly creepy story.

And I'll buy the bloke who did the sound a drink any day.