Key2Time: The Chaos Pool (#119)

Big Finish Main Range

Not a terrible wrap-up to the series but not nearly so creative and fun as Destroyer of Delights. The reveal on who is who at the penultimate moments is good but somewhat predictable. I didn’t guess who was who but once it was revealed, I thought oh, right. Sure, makes sense. But it wasn’t a huge revelation but perhaps that’s because we know the parties involved, ultimately, as we’ve met them all before!

Zara actually turns out to be more human than she realizes. Same with Amy! They take what they’ve learned at actually learn from it. Zara actually understands what love is and that really starts to change her outlook on her goals and life. Amy learns to shed some of her innocence and learns to use her capabilities to survive, making her more interesting as a person. Zara? Eh, I think that perhaps the love connection aspect is a bit of a cheap way to achieve a particular goal. It works but just barely as she sure doesn’t seem like a loving person and the guy she loves sure isn’t very lovable!

The whole chaos pool concept wasn’t very impressive, either. The time loop trap that frames the first half of the story keeps things interesting but then it gets involved in the finding of the chaos pool, returning it to a standard storyline format. The storyline goes from space to planet with a bit of a jolt from place to place but it works. Though the location changes also make things a bit disjointed. But it all works out in the end, of course. The choices that Zara and Amy make are predictable and the Doctor saves the day, of course.

The ending is fine and all neatly wrapped up. I think I like the ending of Enlightenment with Turlough better, though, as we saw him really struggle with a serious choice – the Doctor’s life in exchange for the ultimate prize of enlightenment. I don’t feel that tension in this story as the decision ends up being both for Amy and Zara, though somehow it rested more with Zara? It all goes a bit wonky with the chaos of characters fighting at the end of it all. So a worthy listen but not as amazing of a conclusion as I would hope for. And what exactly does that ending mean for all space and time? The key to time no longer controls things? Just not sure what implications this might have for the Doctor and the universe but it seems not to bother anyone actually in the story… So who am I to know?

Peter Davison, Ciara Janson, and Lalla Ward

Writer: Peter Anghelides

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: March 2009

Laura Vilensky 2019