In Review: Big Finish: The War Master: Anti-Genesis

In a Time War, there is a crime that not even the Daleks would dare consider. But the Master has more than considered – and he is ready to commit…

Synopsis: In a Time War, there is a crime that not even the Daleks would dare consider. But the Master has more than considered – and he is ready to commit…

When his TARDIS returns to Gallifrey carrying his corpse, a chain of events ensues that will change established history. Old friendships will be destroyed and dark alliances formed, as the Master exploits a terrifying truth.

Even for the two most powerful races, time can be rewritten.

Review: With The War Master: Anti-Genesis, writers Nicholas Briggs and Alan Barnes have crafted a four-episode arc riffing off of one of the most classic Doctor Who stories of all. To avoid spoiling the entire tale, I won’t say which one, except that a clue is in the title. The reason I can’t write more than that about the plot is because the authors’ riffing and homaging are the plot; the plot is the riffing and homaging.

I will, however, discuss the performances. Derek Jacobi continues to defy adjectives. Absolutely-Crushes-It seems to be his default mode. Because Jacobi is so good, listeners are also treated to a supporting cast Big Finish knows is capable of rising to his level. 

Seán Carlsen returns as Narvin and Pippa Bennett-Warner returns with him as Livia. Much of the narrative centers on the choices of the two schemers. One really gets the sense that Carlsen and Bennett-Warner are using their years of experience and layers of world-building in these roles. For their parts, Gavin Swift and Franchi Webb give real depth to two souls manipulated by the forces around them. The stand-out, though, is Mark Gatiss in a role I hope he continues to revisit. I can’t wait for off to play off more incarnations of The Master.


Derek Jacobi (The War Master), Mark Gatiss (The Other Master), Seán Carlsen (Narvin), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Zaraah Abrahams (Kaled Corporal), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Livia), Vikash Bhai (Arfor), Daniel Brocklebank (Yaren), Richard Clifford (Novar), Ben Crystal (Soogasor), Christopher Harper (Kaled Guard), Will Kirk (Uglen), Jordan Renzo (Insloy), Gavin Swift (Crazlus), Franchi Webb (Lamarius)

Production  Credits

 Script Editor Scott Handcock, Nicholas Briggs

Sound Design Richard Fox @ FoxYason Studios, Robert Harvey

Cover Artist Tom Newsom

Director Scott Handcock

Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery

Music Robert Harvey

Producer Scott Handcock

Written by Nicholas Briggs, Alan Barnes

Theme Music by Ioan Morris

Big Finish: The War Master: Anti-Genesis
  • 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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