The Invasion of Time
Episode / January 9, 2017

Aired 4 February – 11 March 1978 Returning to Gallifrey, the Doctor demands to be instated into the position of President of the High Council of Time Lords after inexplicably signing a treaty with enemy aliens. After banishing Leela to the wastelands and disabling the planet’s defence barriers to welcome an invasion, the hidden agendas of both the Doctor and the Vardans come into question as another familiar presence lurks in the shadows. The Fourth Doctor has always managed to carry a bit of a darker persona about him no matter how jocular or frivolous he at times seems, and the first half of ‘The Invasion of Time’ wonderfully exploits this aspect of the character as it seems that he has turned against his own people. Baker excels in bringing out a truly frightening menace as events progress, and the manner in which he scorns his former mentor, Borusa, and verbally abuses his companion, Leela, gives credence to the prospect that he really has forsaken the Time Lords in favour of the Vardans whom he manically and gleefully introduces. Of course, there is a method to his madness, and moments such as his pained look as he must keep his…

Unregenerate!
Audio / April 27, 2016

Released June 2005 The loss of one’s sanity is a terrifying concept to consider, and it’s only natural that Doctor Who would at some point find itself in an insane asylum where experiments are being performed upon the patients. ‘Unregenerate!’ has some interesting ideas behind it that play nicely into the overall mythology of the programme, but the end result is a messy, overly complicated script that manages to lose its way in offering any substantial drama. Instead of exploring those intriguing ideas in detail, te majority of ‘Unregenerate!’ is presented as a mystery with the characters trying to figure out what is happening around them. This is itself is not a bad choice, but the decision to include the Time Lords and to further complicate the Doctor’s relationship with them as they continue their almost xenophobic ways surprisingly detracts from the overall proceedings. Still, the planting of the minds or consciences of TARDISes within people’s heads as a means of keeping tabs on time travelers is a fascinating concept, if again a bit more bombastic and complicated than need be. The fake asylum on Earth, the Doctor facing amnesia and a crisis of identity, and a great double act…

The War Doctor – Infernal Devices
Audio / February 29, 2016

Released February 2016 Infernal Devices, the second of Big Finish’s box sets to explore the shrouded and darker incarnation of the titular Time Lord, picks up his tale at an undetermined time following the conclusion of Only the Monstrous with the Time War at or near its height and with Time Lords and Daleks alike willing to do whatever it takes to win outright. Infernal Devices features a slightly different format and tone than the preceding release in that the stories, although connected, are much more standalone, each focusing on a unique and powerful weapon as well as the consequences- both intended and not- that such power can have. The Tenth Doctor briefly but emotionally recalled some of the travesties of the Time War in his final episode, but it is during this set of three stories that listeners are afforded a glimpse of just what types of schemes and powers are truly involved. The Time Lords have forsaken their stance on non-intervention and are actively spearheading counterattacks and pre-emptive attacks against the Daleks, seemingly unconcerned about any repercussions the universe at large may feel and in a very real sense mirroring the Daleks themselves. John Dorney’s ‘Legion of the…

The End of Time Part One
Episode / February 8, 2016

Aired 25 December 2009 ‘The End of Time’, simply put, has a heavy burden of responsibility in that it not only has to provide a sterling swansong to one of the most popular Doctors in the long history of the programme, it also has to tie up all important dangling plot threads from the Russell T Davies era as it was announced that this serial would be his final as writer/producer after five unarguably successful years at the helm. Throughout this two-part epic, the Doctor is running from his destiny after claiming himself the Time Lord Victorious, aware that his death is imminent and confronting his flaws as much as his attributes as the spirits of key points in previous regeneration stories ‘The War Games,’ ‘Planet of the Spiders,’ ‘Logopolis,’ and ‘Castrovalva’ are all evoked. This is an unexpectedly dark tale, heeding no notice to the festive season in which it is set. Right from the start, the voiceover wastes no time in setting the scene, bringing the resurrected Master back into the fold. Ood Sigma then quickly explains that everyone on Earth is having bad dreams, but something even bigger than the Master is coming. In terms of exposition,…