Scherzo (#52)

Big Finish Main Range


The new universe stories, from Scherzo to The Twilight Kingdom all just aren’t stories I’ve looked forward to listening to again. And perhaps the attempt to show a lack of linear or circular time in a universe without time is the reason. Don’t know but I’ll soon find out! Time does exist in this other universe but it doesn’t coordinate with his senses tied in so much with time. So it’s like his senses for time are cut off. The TARDIS is “burned” away by the lack of continual time. Continuous time versus time that never repeats itself. They explore the universe using their other senses. The environmental noises sound like a test tube to me. Glass. Can they even see each other? A universe of nothings to explore.

Charley is running on the rules of the old universe. The Doctor’s giving up immediately—fatalistic Doctor indeed. So the adventure starts out good enough. Charley wants meaning, the Doctor wants to die alone. He gets kind of cruel and attempts to push Charley away. Then there’s the story of the king who ruled his universe with music banished from it. No rhythm to life anymore. So perhaps the music is in the light that they see? The story that frames the adventure is definitely interesting, that’s for sure. The Doctor kills himself to save Charley and they have a little confrontation about love and the meaning of life with and without love. Okay, things get weird with the cutting across the Doctor’s throat. And the merging of bodies? Ewwww. Gross.

Evolution gone mad, that’s for sure. The sound creature and the Doctor—does he want to die that badly? Charley refuses to accept the sacrifice of the Doctor, she chooses the Doctor to live. Weird test tube. The Doctor knows about the creatures they’ll meet at the end. The Doctor would give everything up for Charley and that’s the Doctor she wants. Odd that they do land on a planet divided into zones in the new universe. The Doctor and Charley form a bond during this episode, work things out. A strength they will need in the adventures to come in this universe.

This adventure didn’t have to high emotional points that I usually enjoy and the emotions are reduced to more simplistic terms but I enjoyed it much more than I thought I might. So a joy to listen to, ultimately. A good introduction to the new universe.


Paul McGann and India Fisher

Writer: Robert Shearman

Director: Gary Russell

Release: December 2003

Laura Vilensky 2018