Wait… what is this? A new full War Master set, before December? YES, PLEASE!

Following last December’s The Master Of Callous, the legendary Sir Derek Jacobi returns as the infamous renegade Time Lord. Continuing his burning determination of dominating the universe, and turning the cataclysmic Time War into his own laboratory playground. Rather than the big, four hour breathless-run epic of The Master of Callous, we return to the standalone but interconnected arcs of Only The Good. Only this time, the Master’s plans have grown in scope, scale, and in backing…

The Survivor by Tim Foley

Starting off this set, we are given a story that can initially make you do a double take and wonder “Wait, did I put the right disc in?” All becomes clear as the story progresses. In a small village in the middle of World War II, Alice Pritchard wishes to help the war effort in whatever way she can. Hopefully, the fighting will end. But as it progresses, she seeks guidance with what to do… And Reverend Magister knows exactly how to help her…

Tim Foley starts us off with a standalone tale, akin to the first set, to reintroduce us to the Master of War, and just how downright manipulative he can be. With the backdrop of World War II (a regular era for Who stories), a cavalcade of characters are stuck between duty and desire, as is usually the case in war time. But then Alice, played by Katherine Pearce, happens across the Reverend and her life starts to spiral out of control. Foley expertly demonstrates how the Master can sow the seeds of deception in the desperate. Beyond Jacobi and Pearce, Mina Anwar, Paul Clayton, Su Douglas and Laura Riseborough all help make the tale as unsettlingly engrossing as possible. 

The Coney Island Chameleon by David Llewellyn

Continuing on for the last story, we go back a bit further in time as the Master’s acquisitions continue for his grand plan. The carnival has arrived at Coney Island, and with it comes rides and experiences aplenty. One of them being the magnificent Coney Island Chameleon which is drawing in the crowds. But the Chameleon and her patron, Singour Sabatini, soon learn that the intentions of lucrative opportunist TS Mereath are far from benign. When they try to escape, they start to wonder what Mereath is actually planning…

Much like the prior tale, David Llewellyn’s story also acts as both a standalone tale, showcasing the absolute depravity of the Master, and as part of the grand narrative. Where Llewellyn does begin to diverge is that this instalment starts off as normal, with Jacobi’s Master, in disguise once again, attempting to acquire a new asset. But when things don’t go his way, it becomes a cat and mouse chase that goes right around the world, and ultimately brings a message that a good man will try to always do right things, even when they don’t help him personally. It also leaves us wonder as to the Master’s true plan…

Paired with David Llewellyn’s stellar writing, the supporting cast of Youssef Kerkour, Taj Atwal and Anjela Lauren Smith shine through in a tense and thrilling tale.

The Missing Link by Tim Foley and Darkness and Light by David Llewellyn

Don’t worry. There’s a reason that these two are together. 

Rounding off the set is a two-part finale penned by both writers, as everything comes together. The Master’s plans are coming to fruition, as he and his team of scientists work together on perfecting the ultimate superweapon. There is only one being in the universe that can stop him. And thankfully, he’s just happened to turn up. But when The Doctor learns of the truth of what the Master is planning, both renegades will need to discover if they, or anyone else, will survive facing the Rage of the Time Lords

The respective styles of Foley and Llewellyn expertly bounce off each other with this finale. Foley constructs the setup and investigation with Llewellyn taking on the fallout of the Master’s machinations. Both stories tie together everything set up in the first two stories, and finally work in something that a lot of us have been clamouring for since Jacobi’s return was first announced. Beyond that, the cast performances are on point in this tale, with James McCallum, Liz Sutherland-Lim, and Dominic Thorburn amongst others, helping add layers of excitement and surprise to this jam packed finale.

However the highlight is, without a doubt, the guest appearance of the Eighth Doctor himself, Paul McGann. Finally we are treated to a Doctor versus Master showdown for the ages, as McGann and Jacobi combine with each other excellently. To go any further would spoil some stellar surprises….

Overview

Following the brilliantly bleak Master Of Callous was going to be a difficult task, regardless of whether you enjoyed the previous set or not. If you thought it was good, then how can it be topped? If you thought it wasn’t as good, then would it mark the next direction of the series going forward? Thankfully, this series doesn’t seem interested in surpassing the prior one and instead, gives us a whole new series of the Master of War, with impressive scripts, fantastic performances, magnificent sound and music work by Peter Doggart and Ioan Morris (that theme tune is still one of the greatest in Big Finish history), and all directed to perfection by the talented Scott Handcock.

The only question now is…. There’s one standalone series left…. What could they possibly do for the grand finale? Well, if the recent trailer is anything to go by, one thing’s for sure… it’s gonna be big…

The War Master: Rage of the Time Lords (c) Big Finish

Synopsis

This title was released in July 2019. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until September 30th 2019, and on general sale after this date.

With all of space and time in chaos, the Master plots his most audacious project yet. Only one other Time Lord has ever been able to stop him. But where is that Time Lord when the universe needs him?

3.1 The Survivor by Tim Foley

At the height of the Second World War on the planet Earth, Alice Pritchard wants for nothing more than the fighting to stop, and to do her bit for King and Country. But when the village priest offers her guidance, her life will change in ways she could never imagine.

3.2 The Coney Island Chameleon by David Llewellyn

When the carnival arrives on Coney Island, it brings with it the most incredible specimens that New York will ever see. Unfortunately for the acts, not all eyes on them are friendly. Enigmatic businessman TS Mereath has taken a shine to the Coney Island Chameleon, for example… and he will seemingly stop at nothing to acquire her.

3.3 The Missing Link by Tim Foley

On a desolate world in the distant future, the Master embarks on his latest scheme, aided and abetted by a team of brilliant scientists. But who is he truly working for? And in a universe at war, is there anyone left in all the cosmos who can stop him?

3.4 Darkness and Light by David Llewellyn

With the Master’s plans near completion, his victory is threatened by the presence of his greatest friend and enemy: the Doctor.

Cast

  • Derek Jacobi (The War Master)
  • Paul McGann (The Doctor)
  • Mina Anwar (Valerie Pritchard)
  • Taj Atwal (Esther)
  • Paul Clayton (Judge Hale)
  • Lu Corfield (Stern)
  • Su Douglas (Lady Raleigh)
  • Ryan Forde Iosco (Fletcher)
  • Youssef Kerkour (Giuseppe Sabatini)
  • James MacCallum (Crantz)
  • Shvorne Marks (Pryor)
  • Ricky Nixon (Turma)
  • Katherine Pearce (Alice Pritchard)
  • Laura Riseborough (Hannah Raleigh)
  • Anjela Lauren Smith (Genevieve)
  • Liz Sutherland-Lim (Professor Silver)
  • Dominic Thorburn (Mandrake)

Credits

  • Cover Artist: Lee Binding
  • Director: Scott Handcock
  • Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
  • Music: Ioan Morris
  • Producer: Scott Handcock
  • Script Editor: Nicholas Briggs
  • Sound Design: Peter Doggart
  • Written by Tim Foley and David Llewellyn
  • Theme Music by Ioan Morris

The War Master: Rage of the Time Lords is available now from the Big Finish website. The title is priced at £22.99 on CD and £19.99 to download. The Big Finish App, available on Apple and Android devices, also makes listening even easier. It is a free app to download, just search in your app store.

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Jack Ryan
Jack (real name John, calls himself Jack as a pun on Tom Clancy’s character) is a reviewer from Wexford, Ireland. An avid fan of sci-fi from five years old, with an unhealthy addiction to Doctor Who for the past thirteen years. His speciality for review is Big Finish audios, which he has had an even greater addiction to for the last six years. Other claims to fame include a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing, a co-organiser for the WexWorlds Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Gaming Festival, regular tweetalongs and riffings of Who every Thursday evening, and once nearly sent Matthew Waterhouse to hospital with a concussion.

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