The War Master range has easily become one of Big Finish’s finest spin-offs, certainly one the most popular at any rate. But it may shock you to hear that prior to this boxset I had never heard any of Jacobi’s audio boxsets. I had listened to the War Master’s adventure in River Song’s audio series, and really loved it and the characterisation of this particular incarnation of the character but I never went on to get any of his solo outings. But that all changed with Escape From Reality, which I absolutely had to hear due to it being a spiritual successor to The Mind Robber from Troughton’s era of the TV show which happens to be my favourite all time Doctor Who television story. Getting to see the Land of Fiction become corrupted by an evil presence was always going to be interesting, the fact that it got to be Jacobi’s Master is an added bonus.
The Power of The Doctor saw Jodie Whittaker’s final episode as The Doctor and featured return of the Doctor’s biggest adversary – The Master (Sacha Dhawan), who last appeared in series 12’s final episode The Timeless Children.
Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor regenerated into a familiar face and it has now been officially confirmed that David Tennant will be the Fourteenth Doctor.
But what has led to the return of a much loved face? Check out the preview below.
The Eric Roberts incarnation of the Master has entered his renaissance period; a new series of solo stories, reunions with the Eighth Doctor and other Masters, and even a face off against River Song. Seeing this particular portrayal of the Master become so quickly beloved and reappraised is a real joy for me as I’ve always loved the deep levels of camp, pomp and Vincent Price energy that Roberts brought to the role back in 1996. A couple of years ago he got a chance to shine in his own solo set where he was pitted against Big Finish original creation Vienna Salvatori as well as a brief face-off with the Daleks, and that set is genuinely a stoke of genuine in reinventing just how the Master can be characterised and how he works as a villain. So I was eager to listen to Nemesis Express; another three hours with a personal favourite Master.
Doctor of War: Genesis was the first of a surprise two release miniseries reviving the Doctor Who: Unbound range by giving listeners a chance to explore essentially one aspect of the Time War that the normal Doctor Who ranges either couldn’t do or just haven’t done. The entire idea is that the timeline is rewritten at the “Do I have the right?” speech in Genesis of the Daleks, Sarah Jane and Harry are killed, and the Doctor regenerates into a fifth incarnation played by Colin Baker as reality fractures. Doctor of War: Destiny continues from Doctor of War: Genesis in three separate stories that on the whole does something that the idea of Doctor of War could have become if it were a bit more self-indulgent in retelling classic Doctor Who stories in this new timeline. Doctor of War: Genesis really only did that with the first few scenes to show where the timeline diverged while taking some ideas from other stories but not just remaking them, Doctor of War: Destiny opens and closes with two stories that do takes on classics with the middle story not quite being filler, but being a story to do world-building with the universe and playing around with the Time War at a conceptual level and how changing time can affect a civilisation. What’s especially interesting is this is a set that wraps up the story fairly completely, there is a post-credits sequence that implies it’s possible for this Doctor of War series to continue, but the arc itself is basically over and the threads have found their endings.
The upcoming BBC centenary special of Doctor Who finally has a title. As previously confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine the episode title is Power Of The Doctor. Check out the teaser images (also previously released in DWM) below which show The Doctor joined by some familiar friends & foes.
The Master, Daleks and Cybermen plus two classic companions are set to return to Doctor Who.
A first look at Doctor Who’s feature-length BBC Centenary special, and Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, has revealed the return of the Doctor’s biggest adversary – The Master (Sacha Dhawan), who last appeared in series 12’s final episode The Timeless Children.
And for the first time since the show returned to BBC One in 2005, The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen will all feature in one single story.
What made the first two instalments of The War Master work incredibly well was the decision to have the Master acting as a background character, working his scheme and influencing people to do things that seem to be good before things fall right apart at the end and it turns out the Master’s been in control all along. Killing Time, the sixth installment (though the fifth to be recorded, switched due to the COVID-19 pandemic) places the Master on the Stagnant Protocol. The planet is one that is out of the way and only noticed when people think that it can be taken over for its own gain. Currently there is a viral plague which the government has been inefficiently handling allowing for a new empress to take power with the Master working from behind the scenes. Now, this series was recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 virus even existed, yet James Goss and Lou Morgan, in writing a science fiction set where the government doesn’t take the plague seriously, and the scientists are trying desperately to find a cure to the variants. In the behind the scenes interviews, the absurdism of Goss and Morgan’s premises for these episodes, as they weren’t expecting a global pandemic to take the world into one where the situation of the Stagnant Protocol is one that we now all know far too well. Even more coincidentally, this isn’t the only time this happened for Big Finish, two main range releases were delayed for similar reasons.
With the acquisition of Eric Roberts returning to the role of the Master in The Diary of River Song, Ravenous 4, and Masterful, it became a matter of time before Big Finish Productions gave him his own spin-off box set. Announced in 2020, Master! is essentially a precursor to Big Finish’s new three disc box set model for releases going forward. Eric Roberts’ Master is also a character who does not actually have a fully fleshed out character. He is a character who was over the top and camp in his one television appearance, under the guidance of a director who simply did not understand who the Master was and didn’t allow Roberts to actually give any menace in his performance. Big Finish obviously worked to correct this in his first three appearances, but giving him a full length box set audiences finally get the chance to explore just what this version of the Master is and what he actually stands for. Master! contains three stories from three writers, all telling an overarching story of how Eric Roberts’ Master escaped the time vortex and was eventually tracked down by an assassin and the Daleks, and of course escaped. Interestingly unlike The War Master and Missy where the Master is a protagonist, Master! actually plays it with the Master directly the role of the antagonist, with each story essentially following other characters interacting with the Master and essentially trying to stop him from succeeding in each episode’s plan as things escalate towards the eventual conclusion.