The Architects of History (#132)

Big Finish Main Range

This is the final story in the Elisabeth Klein trilogy and I'm not sure that I love it. It is predictably unpredictable in how she ends up messing things up far more than anyone could have anticipated but her ultimate ending is, well, just kind of weak. But I couldn't see anyone but the Seventh Doctor being able to take the role he does in her ultimate demise and the story as arranged. Though poor Rachel, his pseudo-companion, has to put up with losing him without ever really having him yet it is definitely "her" Doctor. She recognizes him but he doesn't recognize her. And he is in league with the Selachians? Really? But not. But definitely! It's all a bit of a muddle to wade through.

And it's a good story (who wouldn't love walking sharks in armor?) but I just lost interest in it because it got so convoluted. The Ministry of the Future, or whatever it's called, has its team members. Like Major Richter who is the Jack Bauer of the story. He's dead! No, wait. Where'd the body go? And there's a spy onboard for the Selachians and we think it's one person, get misled into thinking no wait, it's that person, then it was ultimately the first person anyway. These kind of machinations just overwhelmed the story a bit. It wasn't so confusing that I couldn't follow things. It was just convoluted enough that I lost interest in the story. I wanted Klein's ending story to be dramatic and transfixing, with a little bit of sadness mixed in. Dramatic? Yes. Over the top and harsh and brutal, that is Klein's legacy.

But perhaps that's just because she was single-minded in her obsession with returning to her own, defunct timeline. Difficult to say from this timeline's perspective! I do like pieces of the story--the Doctor as prisoner and architect, or is he? Companion Rachel floundering about, much like Ace but without her flair. Her buddy Sam hiding his own, dark secret that we can only guess at. Until the end, of course, when all comes out. And no, Richter isn't a robot or Jack Bauer but he sure does a good imitation!

Sylvester McCoy and Tracey Childs

Writer: Steve Lyons

Director: John Ainsworth

Release: March 2010

Laura Vilensky 2019