Special Features was the fourth story in the audio anthology, The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories, which comprised the one hundred and forty-second release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by John Dorney and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.
It was notable for its unusual structure, which used the guise of a DVD commentary recording session as a means for the Doctor and Nyssa to solve the story's central mystery. As a result, it was in places a parody of the Doctor Who DVD commentary process in which both Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton have been involved.
At last, the cult 1970s horror anthology Doctor Demonic's Tales of Terror is set for release on DVD, complete with a commentary from director Martin Ashcroft, leading actors Sir Jack Merrivale and Johanna Bourke, plus the film's historical adviser — the mysterious "Dr John Smith"!
Martin Ashcroft, Sir Jack Merrivale, Johanna Bourke, and the mysterious Doctor John Smith (the Doctor) sit down to record DVD commentary for the 25th anniversary of the cult 1970s horror anthology Doctor Demonic's Tales of Terror. The former three discuss about the film's technical achievements, past actors and broach but ultimately avoid the subject of the death of a young crew-member of the film, which started suspicions of a "curse" surrounding the film. However, the Doctor explains that the events the movie is based on are, in fact, real, much to their disbelief.
They continue to watch but the Doctor remains quiet until Martin asks him why he hasn't added anything and if he is feeling alright. The Doctor replies that he's concentrating. After watching some more of the DVD, the Doctor then reveals his real purpose for coming was to find the Rasht which appeared on the film set and is the cause of the strange events surrounding the filming, including production assistant Lauren's death, and that it has likely possessed one of the three others present. The Doctor explains the Rasht's breeding mechanism and how it can be implanted in minds and activated with a spoken code-word, with the Racht planning to add the code-word to the DVD commentary in order to activate it for all those watching the film. The Doctor manages to deduce that the Rasht is hiding in Johanna, who at first hesitates but when the Doctor begins defiling the Rasht language (having taught it to himself sometime ago), the Rasht reveals itself but the Doctor manages to defeat it with the help of the pictogram ruins which need to be present to seal the Rasht away, which he later reveals he cleverly doctored into the version of the film they are currently watching when the scene featuring them comes on screen as he confronts the Rasht. The Rasht is defeated and the Doctor and Nyssa leave Martin and Jack, despite being saved, in a right state, and thinking they might need to re-film the whole movie as it transpired that the Doctor was also responsible for some of the strange events, including stealing much of the lost raw footage, which had been part of his plan all along.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Martin Ashcroft - James Fleet
- Sir Jack Merrivale / Narrator / Professor Bromley - Ian Brooker
- Johanna Bourke / Carlotta - Joanna Munro
- Mr Pinfield / Yokel / Running Man / Carriage Driver - John Dorney
- While working on Doctor Demonic's Tales of Terror, the Doctor used the alias "Dr. John Smith".
- While posing as a European actress named Nyssa Traken, Nyssa claimed to be from Tardis. Sir Jack Merrivale believes that it is in Romania.
- Nyssa's character in Doctor Demonic's Tales of Terror was named Felicity.
- Some of the lines the fictional actors say are reminiscent of things that actually appear on Peter Davison-led commentaries for the Doctor Who range. For instance, Johanna Bourke mimics Janet Fielding's propensity of stopping the conversational flow of a commentary by randomly saying something about a character's costume. (DCOM: Earthshock and others)
- The Doctor refers to his encounter with the Speera in Red Lodge, Suffolk in 1665. (AUDIO: The Demons of Red Lodge)
- In the 21st century, a reporter covering the BAFTAs noted that Merrivale and Ashcroft were present. (AUDIO: The Crooked Man)
- Official Special Features page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Demons of Red Lodge and other stories at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide