Arrangements for War (#57)

Big Finish Main Range

Krisztina and Marcus are brought together by the Doctor and in turn, he changes the history of the planet, Vilag. Yet he doesn’t change the history as the planet gets to the same place, just down a different path. There are a great many philosophical topics brought up in this audio adventure plus tears a-plenty at the end. Sigh. The best thing about this adventure is the character development that happens—the Doctor lets his feelings show and his ability to act overwhelms his “good sense.” Evelyn comes into this adventure raw from the death of Cassy and ends up in a completely different place. She has separate adventures with Rossiter and finds a different path to understanding, with a different adventure.

And we, the audience, finally get to see into the thought processes of the Doctor for once. Why does he have a companion? Why Evelyn versus some of the younger “models” he’s had on board previously and later on? I know that Evelyn is a great match for the Doctor as she can stand up to him in his pompous moods but how does their relationship really work? They spend 90% of this adventure not speaking to each other and it ends up bringing them together. They come to a bit of an understanding of how they each cope with becoming part of the events they find themselves in. I just found their separate yet parallel adventures fascinating. The Doctor is the guide and mentor for Krisztina while Evelyn finds happiness and helps others along side of Rossiter. I really love the adventures they have and even the ending, though I did find the enmity of Commander Pokol to be a bit of a distraction. He ends up just having one purpose in this story, besides being just the annoying, unreasoning character that hates the Doctor because he was humiliated by him once.

The ending makes me feel happy and sad. Sad that it ended as it did yet happy that our heroes, Evelyn and the Doctor, found a common ground. And a respect for each other that they hadn’t realized previously! And it makes me want to skip directly to Thicker Than Water to remember how Paul Sutton handles the Doctor and Evelyn reuniting after she goes off with Rossiter. Which is a just and kind thing, in the end. We at least know that Evelyn ends up happy, with a man who loves and respects her. And never forgotten by the Doctor, that’s for sure! And who could ever forget a crotchety old stick-in-the-mud like her? I just wish she could continue on, a good conscience in the side of the Doctor.

Colin Baker and Maggie Stables

Writer: Paul Sutton

Director: G-Russell

Release: May 2004

Laura Vilensky 2019