The War Doctor Volume 3: Agents of Chaos

Big Finish Special Release

The Shadow Vortex

-by- David Llewellyn

An interesting start to the latest War Doctor box set. The Daleks are now targeting 1961 Earth, as it's one of those years, apparently! Anything can and will happen that can change Earth's history. The Time Lords have a protective field around the year but the Time Strategist “hires” a mercenary named Lara to get in and build the Shadow Vortex, which will allow them access to Earth in 1961, to kill everyone.

I do wonder what the point is. Other than the brief mention that it would have the ripple effect of removing the Doctor from all time lines as a lot of his companions would be dead. Would he be dead as well? When was the 3rd Doctor stuck on Earth, anyway? It had better be an amazing plan in order to risk so much for it. I do like that this story depends so much on the Doctor's "charm" and ability to convince someone to help him. And he has to destroy Lara and rewrite time in order to fix everything but it's a good one. I'm still getting used to the theme song, though. Those drum beats just drill into my head at the start, though I don't mind them later on during the song. It's a more militaristic theme song, to be sure!

The Eternity Cage

-by- Andrew Smith

I have to admit that when we discover just what the eternity cage is and what the plan is of the Time Lord trapped inside, I was impressed! Wow. That’s a seriously clever idea. And how he uses the Sontarans is most interesting, though I do have to say that he didn’t have to let them use the energy to begin with. Why bother? To get revenge on them? Not quite sure on that one. His motive is…?

An interesting story! But with the Dalek and Time Lord fleets in one place, it will be a serious showdown, though one the Time Strategist has predicted. The Time Lords have an amazing ship with so many battle TARDIS’s on it, too. Impressive! But I don’t see how they use a TARDIS to fight the Daleks or the population to actually man the crafts. That’s the only disadvantage to these stories is the lack of side population that you know has to be there but is superfluous to the story. I wish they were more evident in the background or a line or two about housing them or something.

So the Sontarans want “in” on the Time War but neither Daleks or Time Lords have enough respect to even consider them as partners. And so it goes badly for the potato heads in this story.

Eye of Harmony

-by- Ken Bentley

And once again we enter into the world of the Dalek master plan for the box set and “needlessly complicated” comes to mind. Not the fault of Ken Bentley (hurray! Not just a director anymore) but this is pretty standard fare for Dalek plans. With so many moving parts, things just can’t go right, no matter how much they plan ahead and have their timelines mapped out.

So we start out from Rovidia, directly from the previous story, with our mole revealed pretty quickly and duh, the Daleks lied to the mole and don’t plan to do anything they may have said. DUH. Man, you’d think the Time Lords would just get it at this point and not point the finger at themselves quite so much. Flawed, yes. But the Daleks are masters of deception and evil. Duh, duh, DUH. (didn’t get it from the title? LOL)

So their needlessly complicated plan this time is to open up the Eye of Harmony and blow up the protections around it, so it then becomes a black hole and destroys the Time Lords forever, out of existence. What other purpose would there be for getting to it? The stupidity of the mole is mind-boggling. So bent on revenge that the plan isn’t obvious? Again I say DUH. So naturally the Doctor stops them, with the help of the Rovidian Kalan, by doing something they wouldn’t predict because he isn’t the Doctor they’re used to. He’s now that wild card that can turn the tide. He is the War Doctor! And this box set really sets the stage for that very nicely.

John Hurt(The War Doctor),Jacqueline Pearce(Cardinal Ollistra),Neve McIntosh(Lara),Honeysuckle Weeks(Heleyna),Timothy Speyer(Kruger),Helen Goldwyn(Professor Crane),Gunnar Cauthery(Kavarin),Matthew Cottle(Leith),Dan Starkey(General Fesk/Sontarans),Josh Bolt(Kalan),Barnaby Edwards(Vassarian),Andrew French(Muren) andNicholas Briggs(Dalek Time Strategist/Daleks)

Writers: David Llewellyn, Andrew Smith, Ken Bentley

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: October 2016

Laura Vilensky 2019