The Fires of Vulcan (#12)

Big Finish Main Range

The moment the Doctor says it’s inevitable and the TARDIS is found in blah, blah, blah, I thought well, why don’t you just put the TARDIS there and make this happen so history’s all happy? Which is, ultimately, what he does. But it takes him 2 hours to think of it! hehehe. Well, 2 days. So this audio feels more like an introduction of Mel with the 7th Doctor storyline. Plucky Mel goes off to save them while the 7th Doctor waxes maudlin. WhatEVER. He’s been in tons worse scrapes than this and whines himself all the way to the 3rd act? Not his usual style but not everyone can be ON all the time…

An interesting thought—as I listen to the DWO whocasts, they are talking (in this episode) about the Master as a bad guy. They attribute him being a weak bad guy in some stories to just a part of how the Master was played. It’s all part of the history and mythology of the character and his life. I, on the other hand, tend to look to the writing as the issue in this type of story. The writer didn’t give him a good plotline or the character much to do in the story. For example, in Mark of the Rani, the Master is a bumbling fool type of character (DWO whocast paraphrase) who is just part of the bad guy team. Interesting thought! I would tend to think that the writer had issues trying to show how a team of the Rani and the Master would both want to be top dog, as it were, and walk all over each other’s plans. And stab each other in the back, which you’d expect.

What these “takes” on the stories indicate is a variety of ways to view the Dr. Who mythos: stories written by writers, characters “write” the stories, and it’s real in a parallel universe, in a galaxy far far away… Okay, I don’t subscribe to that last bit but I’m sure there are people who do!

Anyway, back to Fires of Vulcan. S’alright but eh, I couldn’t put my finger on precisely what makes me just shrug at this one. Perhaps it’s just too far off from the usual Sylvester McCoy Doctor who is always scheming and controlling things. Heck, in Colditz he schemes from another regeneration to end a timeline/universe! And what the heck happened to that bad woman who stayed in our universe as anomaly? And this is exactly what this story does to me—makes me wander off mentally. It’s decently written, it just doesn’t grab me. I can see others thinking it better but eh, I’m just not a fan. And I’ll admit to not being much of a fan of the historicals anyway so chalk one up to losing interest in a historical drama.

Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford

Writer: Steve Lyons

Director: G-Russell

Release: September 2000

Laura Vilensky 2019