The Doomsday Chronometer

Posted in Audio by - December 25, 2018
The Doomsday Chronometer

Released September 2016

Secret cults and societies have jealously protected and guarded the secrets of the Doomsday Chronometer for five centuries, but as River takes Helen through time on a most dangerous quest and the Doctor confronts an ancient Queen of legend in Matt Fitton’s appropriately-titled ‘The Doomsday Chronometer’, the truth and the journey to find the truth are far more insidious than anyone suspects.

The Doctor drives a nicely cohesive plot that sees the clock initially being made and then scattered throughout time in the first place, perfectly tying in the mysterious figure of the alien Queen Risolva who is just as glad to find that the Doctor is no more a figure of myth than she is to him. It’s also through this figure that the Clocksmith is developed into a much more dynamic figure as the different storylines begin to merge into one, and the revelation that he gained the trust of Risolva and her Solvers on their homeworld by making amusements before then dismantling the Queen and using her people as his personal henchmen is a wonderful bit of background that gives this figure a more dangerous nuance than has yet been afforded him. The Clocksmith has traveled along the timeline of his creation and seen that it is pieced together in 2016, assembling the Revelation Sect to do exactly that and in so doing giving the ultimate doomsday a definite time of arrival.

Following in the path of her previous two appearances in Doom Coalition, River is also an integral protagonist who carries a substantial portion of the plot, here as she takes Helen on a temporal trip to find a map to the missing eighth piece while rescuing both Liv and the Doctor along the way. This prolonged sequence exemplifies River’s innate charisma and shrewdness, and the manner in which the script toys with expectations regarding her presumed innuendo allows for a nice injection of humour into these very dangerous events. Indeed, as the Solvers destroy the Clocksmith and the Doomsday Chronometer forces coordinates into the Doctor’s mind with the threat of an all-powerful energy being harnessed, the plot is geared toward finally bringing the Doctor and River face to face- albeit with River’s identity still shrouded- to lead one grand adventure together as this set reaches its conclusion and they take the Clocksmith’s TARDIS, and fortunately the journey to reaching this point is as enjoyable as the immense potential that results from doing so.

Of course, previous events with River necessitate that Helen and Liv cannot travel with both the Doctor and her in order to keep River’s true identity a secret from her future husband, and the Clocksmith killing Octavian to reveal an unsurprising but wholly satisfying true identity that is so integral to the overarching plot works fantastically while making the most of the Doctor’s companions’ uncertainty about just what being a Time Lord actually entails. This, likewise, is a thrilling development filled with so much potential as a figure only briefly hinted at in the past is allowed the chance to step into the spotlight, and though Liv and Helen don’t get quite as much time to feature here as might be hoped, it’s clear that they will be intrinsically involved in the conclusion as the action heads back to Gallifrey and beyond. With so much action, backstory, and foreshadowing involved, it’s understandable that some characters are relegated to more background or superficial roles, and this perhaps unfortunately applies most to Thomas Cromwell who has his historical significance and attitudes dwarfed by the much more grandiose plot around him. Still, as a whole ‘The Doomsday Chronometer’ expands upon everything introduced in ‘The Eighth Piece’ and leads into the finale on a definite high.

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