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. 





Time Lord Victorious #2 - Defender of the Daleks (Titan Comics)Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Time Lord Victorious #2 - Defender of the Daleks (Credit: Titan Comics)

Writer: Jody Houser

Artist: Roberta Ingranata

Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

46 Pages

Published by Titan Comics - October 2020

Defender of the Daleks concludes here in the second part of the Titan Time Lord Victorious offering. The Doctor continues to work with the Daleks to stop the Hond from escaping and destroying everyone in the universe. Can the Doctor stop the Hond from destroying everything?  Can he work WITH the Daleks?  Even if he wins, can he still lose?  It’s an entertaining story, and without getting too deep into any spoiler territory, I think this is one of writer Jody Houser’s stronger efforts. Much like the Thirteenth/Tenth Doctor team up that launched the seemingly now-dormant Thirteenth Doctor comic that she penned...this story feels far more complete and has better pacing, which was not a strength for the bulk of the Thirteenth Doctor’s “Year One” stories.  

This is, ultimately, a fairly successful close to this segment of the cross-platform storyline that is the “Time Lord Victorious” thing.  So far I have read these two Titan installments and begun listening to the Big Finish offerings...the connections between them seem loose.  I understand that this is a story in which each installment needs to both fit into a larger puzzle AND stand entirely on it’s own...but as this story wrapped up, I didn’t feel like it was so much part of a larger ongoing story, as much as it was just a fairly entertaining one-off.  

But as long as it is a good read, does that really matter much? Who cares if the larger multi-media story isn’t quite coming into view?  If I was only going to read this comic, I would be satisfied as a one-off Tenth Doctor Adventure.  It doesn’t leave you craving more or where it all might go next, but it is solid.  In the end...that is enough. 





Time Lord Victorious: He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Monday, 21 December 2020 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
Time Lord Victorious: He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not (Credit: Big Finish)

Writer: Carrie Thompson

Director: Scott Handcock

Featuring: Paul McGann, Silas Carson, Jack DeVos, Pauline Eyre, Misha Malcolm, Martin McDougall, Melanie Stevens

 

Big Finish Release (United Kingdom)

Released October 2020

Running Time: 1 hour

 

Big Finish enters into the Time Lord Victorious game with He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, which is a standard Eighth Doctor story involving heading for a vacation, stumbling into some trouble with the first people he meets, and trying to keep everyone safe from a murderous Ood, all while trying to sort out why the planet and time seem to be completely off-kilter.

The basic story of this feels like it has little to do with the overarching Victorious business, but it is more of a set up for things to come, this is mostly in the “planet where the society and art that should be there, is replaced with a wasteland and small population” background, and less to do with the main plot, which involves two young lovers trying to escape an Ood bent on murdering the lover of his employer’s daughter, because the daughter was genetically engineered to dote on the father, and not love anyone else. 

This is, obviously, pretty standard but good ol’ fashioned Doctor Who plotting.  Does it have anything to do with the Time Lord Victorious or the Daleks or any of that other stuff?  Not really.  But it is well-produced (I expect little else from Big Finish these days), with good performances and a decent little adventure for the always entertaining Paul McGann.  

In the end, the Doctor saves the day and attempts to save the Ood if it promises not to kill the girl...but the TARDIS has other plans and begins to take off...the Doctor narrowly gets aboard but the Ood gets sucked into the Vortex...and then the Doctor ends up as a prisoner of the Daleks!  Next adventure I presume! 





Time Lord Victorious #1 - Defender of the Daleks (Titan Comics)Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck

Time Lord Victorious #1 - Cover A (Credit: Titan )Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata

Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

52 Pages

Published by Titan Comics - September 2020

The BBC and it’s various Doctor Who licensees have teamed up to create a multi-platform story arc, stories that span books, comics, audios and even an animated mini-series focusing on the Daleks. Beyond the usual spin-off media outlets, they are even doing more immersive entertainment adventures like Escape Rooms and Immersive Theater experiences. Allegedly, much of it is designed so you don’t need it all to enjoy the individual bits (so the comics should stand on their own without needing an audio or an Escape Room for it to all make sense). This is good, because as an American there was little chance of me getting a Dalek Awakes Escape Room anywhere near me. It seems the more immersive stuff is for UK folks only. 

And that is fine. I could see some interest in the theater thing, but I am not terribly interested in an Escape Room. But I do love audios and comics. I wasn’t sure how much I would get into with this multimedia extravaganza. I wanted to listen to audio adventures because if it has the Eighth or Tenth Doctors, I am there. But I happened to see my digital library had a copy of Time Lord Victorious #1 (apparently subtitled “Defender of the Daleks” though I did not see that title anywhere on it), and I decided to give it a whirl. And it is so entertaining I ate it up. 

The Tenth Doctor awakes in his TARDIS with some partial amnesia, confused as to where he has been and what he was up to, and not sure where he is going. When he lands he is surrounded by Daleks who wish to take him to the Emperor of the Daleks. He tried to escape, but no matter where he lands, the Daleks are waiting. He finally decides to see the Emperor. Turns out the Daleks want his help. It seems there is an ancient race, a race of myth, called the Hond. Like the Daleks they want to destroy all life in the universe...they even want to destroy themselves when they wipe out the rest. They intend to take out the Daleks first...and since the Doctor isn’t for all life in the universe being snuffed out he begrudgingly decides to help the Daleks. 

I have found Jody Houser’s work on the Thirteenth Doctor to be a bit hit or miss. She has had interesting set ups but the endings have always felt rushed and unsatisfying to me. But this feels so well put together as a set-up...I just have a feeling it is going to have a solid follow-up. This is my first taste of the multi-platform story, but it has certainly captured my interest! I look forward to sampling a but more.