The Black Archive #5: Image of the Fendahl
The Black Archive – a series of book-length looks at single Doctor Who stories from 1963 to the present day.
Image of the Fendahl (1977) is a fusion of the last great hurrah of the Gothic years of Doctor Who, before Graham Williams’ changes really began to bite, with the colder post-Gothic tradition drawn from Nigel Kneale and HP Lovecraft. A priory, a haunted wood, a village coven… a scientific investigation that reaches back 12 million years in time and hundreds of millions of miles away in space.
Writer Chris Boucher (also responsible for ‘The Face of Evil‘ and ‘The Robots of Death‘) builds on his successes with a story that functions as a human drama, a scientific puzzle, a horror story, and a masterpiece of unease. Building its audience by nearly three million from episode one to episode four, this story is one of the great classics of the series, and still works as an effective adventure drama for a modern audience.