The War Games
Episode / January 26, 2016

Aired 19 April – 21 June 1969 As the 1960s came to a close, Doctor Who found itself facing another crisis. Ratings had dropped significantly and Patrick Troughton had decided that his third year in the titular role would be his last. With the concept of a total change in appearance and attitude of the Doctor already established in ‘The Tenth Planet’- not fully fleshed out as the regeneration concept known today- a change in lead actor was certainly a viable solution to part of the issue. To save ratings, however, something more drastic was going to have to change, and the idea of exiling the Doctor to essentially modern-day Earth was established by the end of the Second Doctor’s era. Though ‘The War Games’ is absolutely the end of an era as it is the final episode to be shot in black and white and the final story for Troughton’s Doctor, Frazer Hines’s Jamie, and Wendy Padbury’s Zoe Heriot, it also has to justify the coming changes, and an introduction to the Doctor’s own race, the Time Lords, who put him on trial for his constant meddling in history forms that justification. However, jumping ahead to the introduction and…

UNIT: Extinction
Audio / January 26, 2016

With the release of the UNIT: Extinction boxset, Big Finish boldly enters the world of modern Doctor Who. Featuring both Kate Stewart and Osgood from the current incarnation of UNIT on-screen and pitting them against the classic Autons again bent on world domination, Extinction is a fantastic first venture that constantly ups the stakes and gives us more insight and background into these delightful characters. UNIT on television is not always portrayed as the most competent of organizations, often times giving way to the Doctor or his companion in order to showcase that individual’s strengths. In audio format, though, UNIT is rightfully and unabashedly portrayed as the strong group it is so clearly meant to be, a true last line of defense for an otherwise defenseless Earth. Of course, two members of UNIT alone cannot carry an entire four episodes that quickly build up a truly global threat and so we are necessarily introduced to several new characters. Captain Carter and Colonel Shindi, in particular, are striking additions to the team, and the writing helps give the sense that each and every member of UNIT is as important as the next. Right from the get-go, Extinction moves along at a…