Doom Coalition #3

Big Finish - 8th Doctor Special Release

Absent Friends

by John Dorney

I have to admit, any Dr. Who story that makes me cry gets the max rating, at least so far in my Big Finish listening experience. These stories that are grouped together all seem to have one story that doesn’t quite “fit in” with the doom and gloom of the rest of them. And I suspect this is the one! It’s quite unnerving as the companions actually get to speak to dead relatives. Which has a double-whammy effect at the end PLUS the Doctor does eventually answer the phone and we don’t get to hear that particular resolution. So cruel! With so many to choose from, how could they, though? Wow. I absolutely love how this box set starts out! And Helen learns her lesson about time travel very quickly here. To her detriment but for once, as listeners, we get to see the possible down side of the travel and visiting relatives later on. Well done indeed!

The Eighth Piece

by Matt Fitton

This story has Helen Sinclair in 21st Century Italy, at a museum, the Doctor in 16th Century England, and Liv in 15th Century Prague, with everyone looking for pieces of a mysterious clock-like device. It’s a puzzle for the Doctor to assemble, but should he? There’s a mysterious man in all three times and locations who is talking to the voices and yet trying to not listen to the voices in his head. Is this the Eleven returned? Or just as voices in his head? Hmmm. Plus the inclusion of River Song in the Doctor’s story makes things very interesting.

As this story progresses, the Clock Maker is shown to be more and more insane. The Doomsday Chronometer he wants to assemble is either a terrible doomsday device or else a clock to show when it happens. But we don’t know which now! Except to know that the Clockmaker is really a pretty horrid guy, killing indiscriminately because he can. And the adventures are really fun to listen to for this one! Who may or may not die? Nice cliffhanger, too, with Liv heading for death. Uh oh. They’re all in trouble now!

The Doomsday Chronometer

by Matt Fitton

So the timepiece is on its way to being assembled in this story and the companions coming together again. By the end, anyway. Sort of. We are getting closer to finding out who the doom coalition is though I do have to wonder, are there only like 50 Time Lords in all of Gallifrey? They seem non-existed in these stories except as guards and the bad guys. They should be able to see these things coming, due to the Matrix, and try to stop them. At least that’s the theory. They study time, no? Why is it always up to the Doctor to save their planet and the universe? Such is the Gallifreyan mantra, I suppose

Anyway, River takes a hand in this story, dragging Helen Sinclair across time and space to gather the missing pieces to assemble. They’re both happy to help assemble, before they know the purpose of the chronometer. But that isn’t revealed in this story until the very end… River is a great addition to this story with her psychic wimple. Classic fun!

The Crucible of Souls

by John Dorney

This does feel a bit dragged out – really? They figure out the issue, why can’t they solve it in the previous story? But then, there’s the confusion of the Doctor vs. the Clockmaker and other issues that come up. The scope and members of the Doom Coalition are finally revealed, as is their plan to make the universe bow to the Time Lords. Sigh. A bit disappointing that they didn’t throw the Master into the mix to make the evil cackling noises. Why are the schemes always on such a grandiose scale? Why not be more realistic? Well then, I guess the Doctor wouldn’t be called upon to save the universe. AGAIN.

No matter what happens throughout this story, the ending is just a cliffhanger and half! Wha-wha-WHAT!?!?!? No!!! I have to wait how long for the next set of stories for everything to resolve!?!?!?! Oh so evil that – Big Finish has their own version of the evil, grandiose plan and it requires torturing us with a long wait for the resolution of this story! And wow, this thing goes beyond epic – they really ratchet up the adversarial nature of the foes for the Doctor each time, don’t they? Holy craziness, batman!

Paul McGann(The Doctor),Nicola Walker(Liv Chenka),Hattie Morahan(Helen Sinclair),Alex Kingston(River Song),Jeremy Clyde(George),Ian Puleston-Davies(Angus Selwyn),Richard Hope(Phillip Cook/Kal),Anna Acton(Kate Drury),John Shrapnel(Thomas Cromwell),Kasia Koleczek(Apolena),Glen McCready(Solvers/Abbot),Emma D'Inverno(Rosalia),Tim McMullan(Octavian),Janie Dee(Risolva),Robert Bathurst(Padrac),John Heffernan(The Imposter) andNicholas Woodeson(The Clocksmith). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer: John Dorney, Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: September 2016

Laura Vilensky 2019