The Sontaran Ordeal
Audio / August 2, 2016

Released July 2016 Classic Doctors, New Monsters Volume One concludes with ‘The Sontaran Ordeal,’ the earliest glimpse into the Time War afforded yet as the great battle infiltrates real time and brings centuries of untold conflict to the planet of Drakkis, a peaceful world in the unaltered timeline. Obviously the Sontarans are not new monsters, but those on display here are very much the post-2005 iterations, itching to find a way to insert themselves into the greatest war the universe has ever known. Writer Andrew Smith wisely doesn’t focus solely on their battling nature, delving instead into a new aspect of the Sontaran hierarchy and structure, the Ordeal as the fate of those who do not succeed in their conquests. Having disgraced himself by not emerging victorious, the defeated Sontaran is stranded on a planet empty-handed, expected to fend for and eventually sacrifice himself to prove his mettle. Commander Jask is the Sontaran facing Ordeal in this story, wrongly accused by an officer he knows has committed crimes in the past and will do so again and determined to clear his name. Considering the rather blunt nature of the Sontarans, Dan Starkey is able to convey an incredible amount of…

The Night of the Doctor
Episode / February 6, 2016

Aired 14 November 2013 Just in time for Doctor Who‘s 2013 fiftieth anniversary special, ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ the production team finally closes one of the biggest lingering gaps in the show’s ever-evolving mythology. The show’s return was made with a bold and wise choice to start fresh with the Doctor character rather than relying on tying him into the previous incarnations with a regeneration scene or flashbacks. The results cannot be argued with, but it meant that Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor- despite a long life in writing and ongoing audios- was still out there with a regeneration story to be told. In a surprise move, that tale was rather suddenly released to the public via the Internet in a seven-minute clip, McGann effortlessly reprising his role for his final bow. Even long after the initial shock and excitement of McGann returning has worn off, ‘The Night of the Doctor’ remains a superb piece of filming, especially considering the short running time. The Eighth Doctor’s wit and charm that had been evident even in the 1996 movie is back on display, but this is also a Doctor very in line with his Big Finish audio portrayal, more worn and…