As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 5 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2012

Time Lord Victorious: Genetics of the Daleks (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Friday, 5 February 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Time Lord Victorious: Genetics of the Daleks (Credit: Big Finish)

Writer: Jonathan Morris

Director: Jamie Anderson

Featuring: Tom Baker, Nicholas Briggs, Pippa Haywood, Joseph Kloska, Clive Mantle, Andrew James Spooner, & Nina Toussaint-White

 

Big Finish Release (United Kingdom)

Released December 2020

Running Time: 1 hour

The Fourth Doctor gets in on the Time Lord Victorious action, sort of. This story does feature Daleks but in terms of the TLV business, that is mostly used as a warning of what the Doctor can become. This is not really an adventure where time is askew or involves some ancient creature from the Dark Times...but it does feature a Dalek telling the Fourth Doctor of what kind of person he may potentially come...the Time Lord Victorious. 

Tom Baker is quite good here. I remember when he was first returning to the role on audio, I felt he still had it but you could tell he was so much older than when he was the Doctor on screen. I’ve not had the pleasure of listening to all of his output since he began reprising, but based on this? He has really settled back into the role perfectly...and sounds as if we were back in 1976.

In the end, there isn’t much to say about this one.  It is yet another slick production from Big Finish, with a great performance from an all-time classic Doctor, and (of course) the Daleks.  It feels very disconnected from the Time Lord Victorious series (despite actually name dropping Time Lord Victorious), and can easily be enjoyed as just another fun Tom Baker/Dalek adventure. 





FILTER: - Time Lord Victorious - Fourth Doctor - Big Finish - Audio

Time Lord Victorious: Mutually Assured Destruction (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 2 February 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Time Lord Victorious: Mutually Assured Destruction (Credit: Big Finish)

Writer: Lizzie Hopley

Director: Scott Handcock

Featuring: Paul McGann, Nicholas Briggs, Samantha Béart, and Wilf Scolding

Big Finish Release (United Kingdom)

Released December 2020

Running Time: 1 hour

Big Finish closes out their “Eighth Doctor Trilogy” for the Time Lord Victorious event (though he will make one more audio appearance in “Echoes of Extinction” which will also feature the Tenth Doctor), and it is a decent story. The Eighth Doctor is still stuck with the Daleks, though they don’t initially seem aware he is on their ship. They are trying to connect the TARDIS to their time ship. 

It is basically the Doctor trying to get the best of the Daleks in their own ship, trying to save a couple survivors of a planet they wiped out as well (who also allude to a “Dark One”)...and the Strategist is still trying to make deals with the Doctor while increasingly butting heads with the Time Commander. 

I enjoyed this story. Not so much for being a part of a larger “event” but because it was a fun adventure with the Eighth Doctor and the Daleks. McGann is, as always, a fun Doctor to listen to. And while the Daleks have certainly had more than their fair share of stories with him in recent years (from the end of his Lucie Miller adventures through Dark Eyes, and more recently in the Time War series), Big Finish still knows how to execute a good Dalek story. 

Granted it still feels like we are teetering on the edge of whatever the Time Lord Victorious story is all about...the bigger picture feels sort of lost on me at this point, with all stories I have thus far taken in feeling like they are hinting at or building to something else. It is now beginning to feel like everyone contributing is trying so hard to keep the audience from being alienated, trying to make it clear enough as to not need other material, that in the end, it is feeling less like a big interconnected story, and more like random adventures that may share some story elements. 

Maybe at some point, I will be able to dive deep enough into all the TLV stuff that it will all make sense and feel very exciting. I look forward to that moment. 





FILTER: - Time Lord Victorious - Eighth Doctor - Big Finish - Audio

Time Lord Victorious: Short Trips: Master Thief / Lesser Evils (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Monday, 1 February 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Master Thief / Lesser Evils (Credit: Big Finish)

Written by Sophie Iles & Simon Guerrier 

Directed by Lisa Bowerman

Narrated by Jon Culshaw

 

Big Finish Release (United Kingdom)

Released: October 2020

Running Time: 80 Minutes

The Master, two incarnations actually, gets in on the Time Lord Victorious action via this Big Finish release featuring two Short Trips, both read by Jon Culshaw. The first features the Delgado version of the Master, while the second follows the Ainley version. 

In the first tale, “Master Thief,” the Master has stolen the de-evolution weapon featured prominently in the second Eighth Doctor TLV story, “Enemy of My Enemy,” and now is inflicting it on several people on a planet, but as he does so he begins to lose his edge. Disintegrating his enemies into a pile of primitive ooze has somehow softened him, and it ultimately leads to his downfall. 

The second story, “Lesser Evils” has less focus on action and the Master ripping through anyone in his way, and is a far smaller character piece. The Master is quietly defending a race from the Koturrah...but why? 

I enjoyed both of these short little entries, though I am unsure how important they are to the overall Time Lord Victorious story. Then again with every entry trying hard to not rely too much on other media in the story, who is to say what is very important to the whole thing? Culshaw is a solid narrator, his versions of each Master is good (his Ainley is very good, and while his Delgado doesn’t sound perfect, he captures something of the essence). For quick bite-sized adventures in this big arc, they are worth your time. 





FILTER: - Time Lord Victorious - Master - Short Trips - Big Finish - Audio

Doctor Who Comic #2 (Titan Comics)Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Doctor Who Comic #2 (Credit: Titan)

Writer: Jody Houser

Artist: Roberta Ingranata

Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

34 Pages

Published by Titan Comics - December 2020

The second instalment of Titan Comics’ latest Doctor Who comic picks up where we left off, with the Thirteenth Doctor still jailed with the Fam and (as well as) Pete and Jackie Tyler, and the Tenth Doctor arriving to this alternate version of Rose, who does not recognize him.  He slowly gets on her good side and gets her to join him in the TARDIS so they can fix what has gone wrong with time.  For example, Rose has a happy picture with her family, one that doesn’t even make sense in their current reality being dominated by Sea Devils. 

For the Thirteenth, she tries to get within the good graces of Pete and Jackie, hoping to uncover some answers as to how this history has unfolded. They are rescued from the jail by a Skithra, one of the nasty bug alien people from the Tesla episode in Series 12, but this Skithra isn’t nearly as evil.  They all pile into their respective TARDIS and take off to try and find the source of the time deviation.  Sadly...both TARDIS begin to crash into each other or converge within the Vortex!  

Cliffhanger time! Will they all survive?  Well, yes.  Obviously.  But it should be fun to find out what happens next.  

This is a definite “middle episode.”  One that needs to build up to the conclusion, but doesn’t have a ton of interesting details.  It is a solid read, but I look forward to having the full story. 





FILTER: - Comics - Titan Comics - Thirteenth Doctor - Tenth Doctor

Time Lord Victorious: The Enemy of My Enemy (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
The Enemy of My Enemy (Credit: Big Finish)

Writer: Tracy Ann Baines

Director: Scott Handcock

Featuring: Paul McGann, Nicholas Briggs, Rachel Atkins,  Samantha Béart, Jacob Dudman, Raj Ghatak

 

Big Finish Release (United Kingdom)

Released November 2020

Running Time: 1 hou

The second Big Finish instalment of Time Lord Victorious seems to play in that specific sandbox a little more than the first outing. This one has it all, Daleks trying to work with the Doctor, timelines all askew…and the Doctor caught in the middle. 

The story has the Doctor held prisoner by the Daleks and forced to help them. This is essentially the same set up that the Titan Comics story had. This time the Daleks claim to want to go in peace with a race of aliens from a planet that is meant to be a barren wasteland. The people of this planet have a genocide weapon that wipes out a whole race by breaking them down into cells and letting them evolve from scratch. It is pretty clear that the Daleks plan of coming in peace is just a ruse to get at this ultimate weapon. 

This is maybe the first time in my experience with the Victorious stories that I have felt it was losing me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a well-produced adventure, with plenty of good story elements...but I think despite the idea that the multi-media event is something new and grand...a lot of it feels fairly typical Doctor Who. Planets and Civilizations that shouldn’t be there, timeline shenanigans, crazy sci-fi weapons that need to be stopped and...Daleks. Big Finish is good at producing Dalek stories, but they’ve become a tad old hat. Not only have they had a constant presence on TV (they’ve not missed an appearance, even a brief one, in a single series since 2005), and on Big Finish they have faced off with the Eighth Doctor a lot. 

This is a solid adventure, well-produced and acted, a decent entry in the overall Time Lord Victorious event.  The only problem is that in general, I am seeing a trend with the Time Lord Victorious. It is starting to just feel like standard Doctor Who with a fancy label on the cover.  I’m curious to see where they take it, but so far it doesn’t feel like it is going in any incredible new direction. I found myself not as invested this time around, but it isn’t bad by any standard. 





FILTER: - Eighth Doctor - Big Finish - Audio - Time Lord Victorious

Doctor Who Comic #1 (Titan Comics)Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 January 2021 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Doctor Who Comic #1 (Credit: Titan)

Writer: Jody Houser

Artist: Roberta Ingranata

Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

35 Pages

Published by Titan Comics - November 2020

It has been a while. The Thirteenth Doctor’s comic book kicked off it’s second year in January with a Tenth Doctor team-up also featuring Martha Jones and the Weeping Angels. This story lasted 4 issues and after it wrapped up...it ended on a cliffhanger. Then the pandemic was in full swing and I didn’t see another issue. In the meantime, the team behind the Thirteenth Doctor comics was tasked with the Titan entry for the Time Lord Victorious story. Hidden in there was also talk of this new line of comics, not labelled to a specific Doctor, but more generically as “Doctor Who Comic.” I saw that this seemed to be another Thirteenth and Tenth Doctor team-up...but I did not realize that this was basically a total rebrand for the series and that the Thirteenth Doctor comic, as it was previously known, is no more. And this was so badly reported, that I genuinely did not know that this was a rebrand and direct continuation. 

But I am glad to see the continuation is here, as I wanted to see the follow up to that cliffhanger. As we left off, the Doctor has taken the fam back to their own time and place, but it is now an apocalyptic nightmare. Turns out that the Sea Devils are ruling the place, and have possibly done so for a long time...so time is all out of whack. Helping to resist the Sea Devils? Rose Tyler! And when the Doctor and co. get locked up, they find Jackie and Pete Tyler as well. The issue ends with the Tenth Doctor’s arrival, finding that Rose doesn’t even recognize him or the TARDIS. Time is really messed up. 

It is a decent start to a new story, but it is really odd that they are still doing a team-up between the Thirteenth and Tenth Doctor. Titan now has not printed a solo Thirteenth Doctor adventure since Christmas 2019. This might be more fun if she could bounce off of different incarnations, but she is constantly paired with the Tenth. She even showed up in the Time Lord Victorious comic. These stories are fine, but it seems like they’ve decided that she can’t stand on her own?

Does the rebranding from being a specifically Thirteenth Doctor to just generically “Doctor Who Comic” mean that they can vary up which Doctors will star in an issue, or is this now the Thirteenth and Tenth team-up comic now? 

This is a good start to the new story. Shame that the Thirteenth can’t have her own comic anymore (it seems), but I am interested to see where this goes.





FILTER: - Comics - Titan Comics - Thirteenth Doctor - Tenth Doctor