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Remember back in 2005 when we’d been bereft of Timelords for so long, we were overjoyed to have our favourite one back, but then a little perplexed to find he was the last one. As the first season moved on we found he was the cause, but despite what he thought Daleks had survived, even if no other Timelords had. Which eventually we also discover not to be true as one other Timelord had hidden himself in the form of Derek Jacobi’s Master.

But it looked like we weren’t going to see much of the Time War, until we got to 2013 and discovered the forgotten War Doctor in Name of the Doctor, and finally see Paul McGann’s regeneration in Night of the Doctor, before seeing the end of the Time War in Day of the Doctor.

Now there’s clearly a HUGE story there, but the problem is that it all happened in the era of the Eighth Doctor, War Doctor and War Master, and sadly we weren’t watching then as the program was off the air, and we’re now much further on in the Doctor’s life (and the Master’s for that matter).

But mercifully Big Finish now have the rights to tell the Time War story, and boy is it shaping up to be an absolute belter as some of it is already out there, uniting the 20th and 21st incarnations of the show in spectacular style, with stories so far involving the Eighth Doctor, Romana, The Monk, Leela, Ace, Nyssa, Susan, Daleks, Varga and the Sontarans (albeit the new clone batch) from the 20th century show and the War Doctor, War Master, River Song, Angels and even the Vashta Narada from the 21st century show.

So, if you want to listen to the Time War in all its glory, here’s what you need.

Doom Coalition (fully available now)

The story kicks off in the Doom Coalition, though for the first two volumes you have no inkling of it being a Time War story, but by volume 3 it becomes apparent that we are in the preparatory stages of the Time War – but I won’t say any more than that. One remarkable character introduced in this story is The Eleven, a very unusual Timelord who has a multiple personality disorder of the highest order, as he retains the personality of every one of his previous incarnations. He also devises the most sinister and sadistic way to torture a Timelord. We also get a few regenerations in this story, and nice to hear the 21st century regeneration sound effect being used, subtly bringing both versions of Who together.

The War Doctor (fully available now)

Just 2 months after volume 1 of Doom Coalition was released, we also get the War Doctor series starting. Four wonderful box sets with John Hurt reprising his portrayal of the War Doctor, giving the forgotten incarnation a whole new lease of life. It also introduces us to Cardinal Ollistra played by Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan from Blakes Seven), who later pops up in Doom Coalition 4 in an earlier incarnation played by Carolyn Pickles (are you confused yet?).

The main thrust of the Time War stories explores some of the weapons and tactics the Daleks and Time Lords employ in the war, and demonstrates some very unusual weaponry.

Even though I’m sure it was hoped there would be more War Doctor box sets after 4, the final story finishes in such a way you can easily imagine the War Doctor having reached the point of No More.

Classic Doctors New Monsters – Vol 2 (out now)

This isn’t really a Time War box set, but the fourth story most definitely IS set in the Time War, with the Eighth Doctor and Cardinal Ollistra locking horns again as the Time Lords try to weaponise Vashta Narada, as a follow on story to the Fourth Doctor encountering the same Vashta Narada earlier in the box set.

Short Trips 7.09 and 7.10 (available now)
As well as full audio dramas Big Finish also produce short stories, usually read by a cast member, and recently two of them tackle the Time War.

7.09 A heart on both sides

Nyssa’s medical aid ship, The Traken, finds itself in the middle of the Time War, and picks up the mysterious Doctor Foster, who has apparently spent a lot of time in Gloucester and is very familiar with the amount of rainfall there. Finding themselves on a planet very much anti-Timelords Doctor Foster turns out to be a Timelord, one that Nyssa doesn’t know, but who knows Nyssa quite well.
7.10 All hands on deck

This second short story features Susan and the Eighth Doctor (having reunited in An Earthly Child) dealing with some appropriated Dalek technology. Whilst being a short story it answers a very important question about Susan and the Time War.

Time War (Vol 1 available now)

Originally planned as a single box set, the Time War is now at least planned to run to 4 box sets. I’m guessing that having had such fun writing the War Doctor stories they just found themselves with a lot more stories to tell.

Interestingly this box set starts on what seems like a normal adventure for the Doctor and Sheena, or is that Emma, or perhaps Louise, something is definitely wrong with causality. Welcome to the Time War.

The first story deals with refugees fleeing the Time War on a space liner, neatly dovetailing into a second story with the refugees stranded on a planet ravaged by the war, with a quite unexpected ally to guide them. As with the War Doctor stories we get to see the impact of the strange weapons concocted by both sides.

The third story introduced the Doctor to Time War Boot Camp, even though we know he wants nothing to do with the war. I was intrigued to see how this would work, and the way they get the Doctor to co-operate with training was very true to the Doctor’s character.

The fourth story is about another Time Lord weapon, but I won’t give away what it is, other than it neatly bookends with the opening.

Looking forwards to the 3 more volumes to follow.

The War Master (December 2017)

It would seem to play a Timelord with a War prefix you need to be a Knight of the Realm, as this box set will feature Sir Derek Jacobi reprising his role from Utopia, but this time being able to be his full evil self.

Interestingly, though no further box sets have been announced, and we have no volume suffix, the box set does have the subtitle of “Only the good”, so there’s hope for more to follow.

Gallifrey – Time War (February 2018)

The Gallifrey series tends to concentrate on political intrigue in the capitol of the Timelord’s civilisation, mostly featuring Romana II and Leela, along with K-9 mark 2 (and occasionally mark 1), this upcoming set will also feature Ace and the War Master .
1 Comment
Comments (1)
Nov 04, 2017
Once again you are the keeper of the Time Lords. Thinks for the list it sure make life easier for the rest of us.
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