In Review: Big Finish: The Eighth Doctor – The Time War Series 01

Follow the Eighth Doctor as he battles to survive in the early days of the Time War. 

Synopsis: Follow the Eighth Doctor as he battles to survive in the early days of the Time War.

Review: Fans that have wanted to have some stories from the early days of the Time War have gotten their wish with this new set of adventures from Big Finish, which follow the Eighth Doctors struggles during what was a very trying time.

Up until this the only stories we had from the Time Wars was the excellent War Doctor series, which starred the late John Hurt and the various references we have had in the television series. This first set of adventures is near the start of the war and tracks the Eighth Doctor’s role in events.

The set is made up of four interlinked stories, which start with ‘The Starship of Theseus’ By John Dorney. This story opens with a Time Lord making a distress call. He is not certain if he is going to survive. Then the story moves to the Doctor and companion Sheena boarding the Luxury Space Ship Theseus where they hit upon a mystery and a dark secret. The story ends as the ship comes under attack by Daleks.

‘Echoes of War’ the survivors of the Theseus must travel through a world, which cycles between growth and decay. Their only guide is a damaged Dalek who has no memory of its purpose. The Doctor calls the Dalek Dal so as not remind it of its role in the day’s events and with plucky scientist Bliss he guides the group to safety only to be forcefully recruited into Time War by Cardinal Ollistra.

Picking up from where ‘Echoes of War’ Left off ‘The Conscript’ by Mat Fitten sees the Doctor and his friends go through rigorous military training. With his friends in custody, the Doctor is forced to toe the line but has a number of disagreements with his superior officers, which doesn’t go down at all well with Ollistra who is more than happy to have the Doctor killed for his insubordination.

Ending the first series is ‘One Life’ by John Dorney, which not only solves the mystery of who the time lord was looking for at the beginning of the series but also reveals why this particular Time Lord was so important to them. The Doctor has escaped execution The Doctor is now forced into the unenviable position of helping Ollistra fend off an all-out Dalek attack, but only one man can end the battle and it isn’ The Doctor.

Overall. This was a great beginning to a new series of adventures, which paint us a picture of what the Time Wars was like. It was great to hear Jacqueline Pearce return as the highly manipulative Ollistra and hearing her interact with the Eighth Doctor is worlds apart from the interactions she had with The War Doctor.

This is a solid collection of stories, which link really well together and give us lots of interesting character beats. They also make you realize just how good of a Doctor Who Paul McGann could have been had he gotten a few seasons on the television show as opposed to the movie and subsequent short.

The Eighth Doctor - The Time War Series 01
  • Stories
  • Voice Acting
  • Audio Production
  • Art Work

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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