Temmosus

Posted in Audio by - May 12, 2022
Temmosus

Released May 2022

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

While the Time War is often glorified as an eternal conflict between the Time Lords and the Daleks with all of space and time in the balance, countless other races have been directly or indirectly involved, perhaps none more so than the Thals who have been fighting against their Skaro compatriots from the very beginning. However, while the Time Lords and Thals are allies against their common enemy, the Thals have realized that this collaboration is not between one of equals, and the Doctor must convince his old friends that they are still on the same side when his new battleship is stolen in Rossa McPhillips’s ‘Temmosus.’

The Doctor being much more directly involved in the Time War here by designing this ship that will only respond to Thal DNA and that can completely turn the tide of the war in the Thals’- and by association the Time Lords’- favour is a fascinating development that continues to define just who this particular incarnation is. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that Thal hero Dylon appears ready to hand over control of this ship to the Daleks, setting in motion a profound race against time that showcases the deep divides present in all sides of this war. The Thals are a noble and honourable race, and it comes as no surprise that some are willing to follow their leader no matter the evidence presented against him, but Soolal represents a more assertive and pragmatic faction of the Thals aboard this ship, her desire for command only heightening her desire to uncover the truth and to seek justice but never blinding her to what is ultimately best for her people as situations change. Rose Basista gives a profoundly powerful performance as this determined figure, and while Dylon’s ultimate motivations for his actions being a misguided desire to be with his family in the limited time he can buy his people before the Daleks inevitably turn against them once more are understandable to an extent and absolutely humanizing, Soolal is very much the driving force for the Thal narrative. Unfortunately, while David Warwick is suitable as Dylon, his performance fails to really capitalize on the internal anguish or determined grittiness that a betrayal of his crewmates should entail no matter Dylon’s reasoning, offering an almost singsong quality to his voice that at times detracts from the truly genuine drama on display.

Dylon’s actions reveal an increasing political strife amidst the Dalek ranks as well, and though it does culminate in a rather ham-fisted explanation about the red commander’s plan to eliminate the Time Strategist to advance in rank and gain favour with the Emperor, the mystery about the relation between Dylon and the Daleks is a strong plot point in the initial stages of the story. Nicholas Briggs again impresses as a striking array of Daleks, his different pitches and energy brilliantly creating a powerful and varied force for the Doctor and the Thals to combat. Of course, Jonathon Carley is every bit as powerful as the War Doctor who is determined to avoid catastrophe by the Daleks gaining control of this ship, and while the plot point of him being central to a Time Lord scheme he knows nothing about is beginning to feel a bit stale at this point, it also allows Adèle Anderson to showcase more hardened and nefarious side to Commander Tamasan that again reinforces just how similar these two warring races have become. Naturally, the Doctor is able to use those devious actions to his advantage without resorting to the devastation that was intended, providing another high point for this incarnation who certainly retains the best of the Doctor even if he refuses to accept that name because of actions he must at times take. ‘Temmosus’ is a much more action-packed and political story than the preceding tale of Battlegrounds, but the direction and sound design complement some truly impressive performances to overcome a subjective lack of weightiness and grittiness at the core of the Thals’ plot.

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