In Review: Big Finish: Dark Gallifrey: The War Master Part 1

Intrigued by rumors of a hidden Gallifrey, Bernice Summerfield also resolves to find it.

Synopsis: Many have sought the legendary Dark Gallifrey over the millennia. Fortunately, most have been lucky enough to fail. 

There is another who has his eyes on that glittering prize, however. The Master knows how such power could be wielded. 

Intrigued by rumors of a hidden Gallifrey, Bernice Summerfield also resolves to find it. But as the Doctor points out, some doors should never be opened — especially ones that want to be.


Review: Dark Gallifrey: The War Master Part 1 was a wonderful way to begin this mini arc in the series. Surprisingly, the absence of the War Master was the least interesting aspect of James Goss’ storytelling.



Indeed, Goss built this first installment as a love letter to Bernice Summerfield and the Unbound Doctor. Dark Gallifrey was reduced to a brilliantly complicated MacGuffin.

Frankly, I found that fitting. Throughout the years, all things associated with the Time Lords have been brilliantly complicated MacGuffins.

First, I adored learning more about the Unbound Doctor’s Tardis. Afterward, this Doctor’s risk-averse nature made sense. Second, I appreciated the snippets listeners got of the Doctor’s library, which shows viewers are still waiting for.

That’s not to say Dark Gallifrey wasn’t worth the listener’s time. Goss did an excellent job establishing the titular plot element without spoiling it completely.



The entire cast was excellent. That said, I have to highlight three performances. 

First, Homer Todiwala’s line readings were perfect. Despite David Warner’s death, I hope this won’t be the last time listeners hear from his character.

That said, the soundscape belonged to Lisa Bowerman and David Warner. However Big Finish addresses the Unbound Doctor going forward, I’m going to miss their peanut butter and dark chocolate dynamic very much. 



Thank you, Big Finish! Dark Gallifrey: The War Master Part 1 offered everything I hoped for and a lot I didn’t hear coming. I can’t wait to find out how the War Master fits into the story when he makes his entrance next month.


You can purchase Dark Gallifrey: The War Master Part 1 here

Big Finish: Dark Gallifrey: The War Master Part 1
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Audio Production

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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  • Dominic Walsh
    7 July 2024 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I feel like they should cameo the Unbound Doctor’s face in the show like they did with the Shalka Doctor.

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