The War Doctor Volume 1: Only the Monstrous

Big Finish Special Release

“You’ll find me in the heart of the battle, where only the monstrous survive.” Wow. What a final statement for this first of the War Doctor stories. It gave me goosebumps and tear in my eye. During these four stories, we see a bit of the Doctor we know and love as Rejoice keeps him company during his recuperation. And even after he’s back in the fight, he shows more compassion for others, even puny humans, than the rest of the Time Lords ever could.

These stories all center around Keska, a planet where the now Keskans ran to escape the brutality of the Taalyens. Naturally, the Doctor is involved after he arrives by accident after detonating a Dalek Time Destructor. He recovers there thanks to Rejoice’s ministrations and is eventually found by Veklin, sent by Cardinal Ollistra, to return him to the war. The Time Lords hail the Doctor as a hero as only he will take the chances and do the things they will not to actually win the war. They have a history of keeping their hands clean and making him do their dirty work anyway.

So the Doctor ends up on a mission to rescue Seratrix, a Time Lord strategist, from Keska where he ended up in Dalek hands. He is there to sue for peace while the Daleks plan to use the 1000+ worlds that the Time Lords “gave” to them for their own despicable ends. Unfortunately Seratrix and his brothers discover that the Daleks have no intention of honoring any deals for them or anyone else in their attempt to win the Time War. No amount of deaths matter more than that! And we all know how correct the Doctor is (just don’t call him that) but there are always those unwilling to understand until it’s too late – quite the common theme in Dalek stories.

Throughout it all there is Rejoice and the Doctor, fighting for the innocent and good in the universe. And the major theme is whether the Doctor is a monster or not. Another common theme even when he’s not the War Doctor! He doesn’t seem as monstrous as grumpy in this story, though it could be that he doesn’t have to be quite so monstrous as just someone who does what needs to. There are certain to be more stories and I, for one, can’t wait! (And I do love the new theme music, too.)

John Hurt(The War Doctor),Jacqueline Pearce(Cardinal Ollistra),Lucy Briggs-Owen(The Nursemaid),Carolyn Seymour(The Slave).Beth Chalmers(Veklin),Alex Wyndham(Seratrix),Kieran Hodgson(Bennus),Barnaby Edwards(Arverton),Mark McDonnell(Traanus)John Banks(Garv) andNicholas Briggsas The Daleks.

Writer/Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: December 2015

Laura Vilensky 2019