In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War

Davros wishes to make them an offer. He will help them win the Time War, but only if the Doctor comes to his rescue.
War

Synopsis: During The Time War, the Doctor has been injured and brought to a Time Lord field hospital. His body glows with energy, but this is no regeneration into a future form. Instead, the Doctor’s past faces begin to appear as he flits haphazardly between incarnations.

Staggering to his TARDIS, the Doctor sets out to solve the mystery of his ‘degeneration’. From the Earth to the stars, he follows clues to retrace his steps. He encounters old friends and enemies along the way. Tumbling through his lives, the Doctor must stop his degeneration before he loses himself completely.

Meanwhile, the Time Lords have received a communication from Falkus. From that prison moon of Skaro, Davros wishes to make them an offer. He will help them win the Time War, but only if the Doctor comes to his rescue.

 

Review: Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War is the third installment in an absolutely wonderful 60th-anniversary arc. As with previous chapters, characters and story elements from across the Doctor Who universe collide. 

 

Story

That collision produces a tour de force of internal logic and character realization. Indeed, I’m immensely impressed by the freshness Jonathan Morris brings to the Dalek tropes. He deftly finds a balance between honoring decades of lore, while engaging contemporary listeners’ interests.

Of course, suspense is ultimately a casualty of that internal logic and narrative inertia. However, it’s a minor inconvenience considering the performances and universe-building Morris’ story facilitates.

I’ll give readers two examples of the marvelous blending of internal logic and universe-building. First, the nature and construction of the prison moon give Davros the ultimate stage. Second, the location Davros ends the story in represents brilliant full-circle irony.

 

Acting

Ken Bones makes a delightful return as the General, and he doesn’t miss a beat. For her part, Beth Chalmers conveys an undercurrent of charm in Veklin, despite the sobering circumstances. Meanwhile, Nicholas Briggs continues to exuberantly eat the soundscape in every Dalek scene.

That said, Sylvester McCoy and Terry Molloy are at the center of the soundscape throughout. They both own their roles. What’s more, listeners sense the joy they each take in their ownership.

 

Overall

Thank you, Big Finish. Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War is an extremely satisfying encapsulation of all things Dalek. I can’t wait to hear how you continue to honor the franchise next month.

 

  • You can purchase Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War here. 
  • You can check out more of our Audio Reviews here. 
9.5
Big Finish: Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

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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