The Time War, Series I

Big Finish - 8th Doctor Special Release

The Starship of Theseus

-by-John Dorney

There are some strange goings on when the Doctor and Sheena land on a luxury liner, the Theseus, and decide to take the opportunity for a holiday. But there’s a dark side to the route through hyperspace the captain has selected as a sacrifice is required. So Emma and the Doctor go investigating but then again, maybe they don’t as people start disappearing, the spaceship is changing around them, and the Daleks show up. When the Time War catches up to them and the renegade Time Lord must not be captured by the Daleks, enemies become the solution while the rescuer becomes the assassin. Everything is topsy turvy when the Time War is involved…

I did enjoy this story while I was also confused by it. This is an instance when the Doctor knows just as much as the audience and we’re given no clues to the best plan for escape. But that does really happen to the 8th Doctor a lot!

Echoes of War

-by-Matt Fitton

I left a long pause between listening to the first episode then this one. I just wasn’t as interested without John Hurt dealing with the war. But this episode just sucked me in! Dal was always on the edge of figuring out who he/it was. The group was yelling at each other, though in reasonable ways. And the Doctor was ahead of it all, though he was missing for some of the story. I was almost disappointed that the Time Lords and Daleks showed up eventually.

The Conscript

-by-Matt Fitton

If this story hadn’t been funny, it would’ve been the worst of the bunch. And timely. The Doctor is sent to Time Lord boot camp, which I imagine sounds much like training for the armed forces for the USA. At least from people I’ve talked to and movies I’ve seen, which exaggerate it, naturally. He’s just the rabble-rouser and never really gets beaten up as you might expect. Or else they held that to a minimum as he’s our hero. He undermines the commander whenever he can and eventually gets put into solitary. I was honestly expecting them to just leave him behind when they moved the camp (Daleks approaching!).

It has a sad ending as some recruits fight and some just run. But how will they fare when they return to Gallifrey, running from the war? There is nowhere to run from this type of war. The horror ratcheted up to 50. Unfortunately when the Time Lords decide to finally get involved, they are all in. The nature of their foe requires it, mind you. However did they defeat the vampires if the Daleks are that difficult? Hmmm.

One Life

-by-John Dorney

They escape and are trapped by a Dalek weapon, so the Doctor manages to escape but crash land on a planet. And she reveals what she is actually after as well – a man who is or was a Time Lord and is a weapon due to his mental abilities. This story really ratchets up the tension and the end game to a major degree. Will he return as “the weapon” or not? Is he Quarren or something else? The ending is sad yet totally understandable. A full kick in this one. Great writing, great acting, so very well done. And I loved it despite my initial misgivings. Fantastic!

Paul McGann(The Doctor),Olivia Vinall(Sheena),Nimmy March(Rupa Maguire),David Ganly(Quarren Maguire),Sean Murray(Captain Darvor),Hywel Morgan(Koloth / Jefferson),Laurence Kennedy(Purser Lunney / Aymor / Chancellor),Rakhee Thakrar(Bliss),Karina Fernandez(Captain Tamasan),Jacqueline Pearce(Ollistra),Nick Brimble(Commander Harlan),Katy Sobey(Veeda),Okezie Morro(Norvid), andNicholas Briggs(Dal / Dalek Commander / Dalek Drone / Daleks). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writers: John Dorney, Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: October 2017

Laura Vilensky 2019