The War Doctor Volume 4: Casualties of War

Big Finish Special Release

Sad listening to this, with John Hurt dead. It took me a long time to be able to listen to this box set because of this but I decided to power through it now. I really enjoyed his work with Big Finish!

Pretty Lies

This first story takes place on Beltox, where the Doctor and Ollistra land after their escape capsule escapes the destruction of a human space station. The Daleks are determined to kill them and trail them to the planet, mounting an assault. Here the Doctor meets a journalist, Schandel, who wants to record his “adventures” as he is the hero of the Time War. And they cannot leave the planet until he uploads his footage to his ship’s AI, Editor. So they have to go fight to save the city that the Dalek’s attack. And naturally, the Doctor figures it out and wins. But the ending of Beltox is just the same as for the initial space station – pretty depressing. The Daleks will not be stopped, nor show any mercy.

The Lady of Obsidian

The title character for this episode turns out to be none other than Leela, suffering from a time bomb that makes her see all possible pasts and futures all the time. And just imagining that makes me want to have a headache! That’s a very clever conceit. So there are some zombie-like creatures, called the Unlived, that came out of the split in the universe that Leela’s fighters are defending from the Unlived. Because if they manage to get to the fissure, they can release the rest of their species from the alternate universe, overrunning the living in our universe.

So this story focuses a little less on the Daleks and more on the Unlived. Though the Daleks are a serious threat – they move on to try to destroy the next planet while Ollistra defends it with her small fleet of battle TARDIS’s. And our hero, as much as he would deny it, manages to save the day with his usual panache.

The Enigma Dimension

This story has the Daleks in an extra-dimensional situation, threatening and killing hostages that don’t care, and the Time Lords wiped out of time. With Ollistra and the War Doctor working on a solution, with Leela in tow. The Enigma Dimension is where the Daleks discover these creatures, who only see time as part of the universe and not part of a structure of the universe. So time is just something they see and feel, not something that structures how they function. And thus the Daleks’ threats mean nothing to them. It’s quite the mind-bending conceptual story and very, very good. A fantastic wrap-up to the series and made ever more poignant by the loss of John Hurt.

John Hurt(The War Doctor),Louise Jameson(Leela),Jacqueline Pearce(Cardinal Ollistra)Joseph Kloska(Schandel),Julia Hills(Sera/Spokesperson),Mark Elstob(Editor/Old Man),Lizzie Roper(Rosata Laxter/High Minister),Chris Porter(Skaul/Freel),Alan David(Castellan Kanteer),Jane Slavin(Panopticon Guard Lintok), andNicholas Briggs(Dalek Time Strategist/Daleks/Assault Team Leader).

Writer:Guy Adams, Andrew Smith, Nicholas Briggs

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: February 2017

Laura Vilensky 2019