Out of Time 1

Posted in Website by - August 26, 2020
Out of Time 1

Released August 2020


With Big Finish, collisions between the classic and modern iterations of Doctor Who have become increasingly common, with heroes like River Song and Strax as well as villains like the Weeping Angels and the Vashta Nerada bridging the divide. However, aside from the Tenth Doctor in the televised special ‘Time Crash’ and in a brief audio cameo, the Doctors themselves have stayed on their respective sides of the Time War in acted adventures. With Out of Time, however, Big Finish appears set to firmly enmesh the two eras with David Tennant teaming with Tom Baker, Peter Davison, and finally Colin Baker to take on three of the Doctor’s greatest foes through the course of three new stories.

The Fourth and Tenth Doctors are arguably the two most popular and enduring incarnations of the titular Time Lord, and Matt Fitton crafts a suitably significant setting both to lure the two Doctors into one place and to allow genuine exploration of where each character truly is at this point in his lives. Without question, the Cathedral of Contemplation that exists outside of time and opens its doors to those who need solace across all of the universe is a brilliant conceit, and the Fourth Doctor who has just left Sarah Jane behind and the Tenth Doctor who has lived through so much loss both through and since the Time War naturally seek to find comfort and perspective within these confines. However, when the dimensional barriers begin to break down and the Daleks finally gain a new foothold in their relentless pursuit of universal domination, the two Doctors suddenly find themselves unsuspecting allies with all of creation at stake.

Even with the threat that COVID-19 continues to pose for everyday life across the globe, Big Finish has already proven just how adept it is at adapting its resources to allow for full-cast audio dramas to be made via remote recordings, and ‘Out of Time 1’ flows seamlessly from beginning to end to give no indication that it had not been performed and recorded in a traditional studio setting. Tom Baker and David Tennant are superb both in individual and joint scenes throughout, and while each is wonderful with the typical banter that accompanies almost every multi-Doctor meeting, the two reach a wholly more profound level once the rage and sheer emotional turmoil that fuel the Tenth Doctor at this point really come into focus. Whereas the Fourth Doctor still believes in the wonders of the universe and how he can help broaden the horizons of those with whom he travels, the Tenth Doctor is at a point where he is willing to take much more decisive action against his enemies and where having others alongside him might only keep him from attaining his goals. Even at a point relatively soon after ‘Genesis of the Daleks,’ the Fourth Doctor still cannot bring himself to eradicate the Daleks, but the Tenth Doctor is much more driven by the sheer hatred of his eternal foes and the right to definitively take action alone that he is sure he has. Of course, both incarnations are prone to verbose wanderings that serve to misdirect as much as to inform, but the sage knowledge that the younger self imparts upon his older self while asking him to live in hope and to look for more friends is a fitting reminder of how much the character and franchise have continued to and will continue to develop over the years.

There are plenty of references to serials from throughout Doctor Who that will appease fans of both eras, and Nicholas Briggs is superb as the Dalek menace that can unite even the most distinct versions of the Doctor. The ultimate plot is fairly traditional even if the unique setting allows for a very instant and visceral threat to manifest, but the sheer power and audacity of the Daleks is palpable throughout as they come to realize the potential benefits of having two Time Lords in their grasp. It is surprising that the Daleks would be so trusting of the Doctor given their past experiences with him, but this is a means to an end and ultimately allows the two versions of the Time Lord to genuinely interact and scheme once the true scope of the threat now facing them is known. Along the way, Claire Rushbrook, Kathryn Drysdale, and Nicholas Asbury also give strong performances to tie together the plot with needed emotion, and the direction and sound design are superb as expected to help create a cohesive whole in a tale that forgoes the traditional novelty of multi-Doctor adventures to offer a surprisingly poignant character exploration fueled by a threat that is all too familiar to a man who has continued to lose so much.

  • Release Date: 8/2020
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