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What is Expected

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 11 June 2019
Rating:   7

Big Finish is now dedicated to chronicling the Time War, with The War Doctor, The War Master, new stories in the Gallifrey series, and more. Now we take our first look at Doctor 8 in the Time War. Mostly, he's trying to avoid it, but gets sucked in any way. Because the backdrop is war, this box set is mostly about the Doctor in various war stories we already know. "The Starship of Theseus" is a refugee story with the added dimension that the Time War is affecting reality so that circumstances are repeatedly changing. "Echoes of War" has the Doctor and friends trying to hide from the Daleks on an isolated jungle planet. Again, there are some funny things with time going on. "The Conscript" sees The Doctor and friends captured by Ollistra. The friends are sent off for evaluation and investigation, while The Doctor gets sent to boot camp, where makes an appropriate mockery of the whole thing. It is mostly a typical recruits in training story. "One Life" reveals the secret weapon that has been bouncing around throughout the set. The Doctor is surprised that nobody is all that interested in him. This box set has a strong plot line throughout, so that each story is really a part of the longer story rather than a standalone episode. The whole has an unfortunate "reset button / it didn't really happen" ending, a trick I never much liked because it makes everything that happened before pointless. As usual, the cast is excellent, as is the sound production.

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