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Reviews for The Eighth Doctor: The Time War 1

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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.

On the Fringes of the Time War

By:Doug W, An Alternate Reality (formerly Pocono Summit), United States
Date:Thursday 8 February 2024
Rating:   7

It was previously established in The Night of the Doctor that the eighth Doctor would not fight in the Time War. So, going into this Eighth Doctor Time War series, we're not really in the thick of it, and this seems a dubious storyline to tread. However, it's Paul McGann and the eighth Doctor, so I have an interest regardless. McGann and his Doctor can almost always deliver engaging situations. Still, this box set only barely gets a 7 from me.

It starts out well with The Starship of Theseus. We get some really intriguing abrupt time and continuity shifts that result from the effects of the Time War, even in far off parts of the universe that aren't right in the middle of actual battles.

Echoes of War is an okay story having a lot to do with zones on a planet with greater or lesser degrees of temporal disturbance, and a dalek with temporary amnesia resulting from this.

The Conscript was really disappointing to me, because it features a Time Lord soldier training camp that is far too human. Okay, yeah, the old Gallifrey has become corrupted by the Time War and the drive to win it at any cost, but still... This is not what I come to these for. The Time Lords have at other times had very mysterious great powers. Now they've been reduced to very conventional space soldiers. That's quite an unfortunate degradation. This is the story that really pulls down the box set's score in my opinion, though the next detracts also.

Lastly, we have One Life, which unfortunately gives us a grand deus ex machina ending in the not so great tradition of The Parting of the Ways and others. It was done rather nicely, I must say, but is still just too convenient of a wrap up of the box set. It certainly left the production team unfettered as to what direction to take the next box set series in.

Again, this whole thing was still done rather nicely, so I'm leaving the 7 out of 10 on it.

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