For a while now, I’ve been posting reactions to big “meaty” arcs such as The Eighth Doctor Adventures, Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition and The Collected War Doctor. Some of the stories I plan to listen to in the near future, though, are either one-off adventures or three story arcs. I thought it would be easier on the indexer (Hi, Bob!) if I started one “catch-all” thread and maintain the index in the initial post myself. I invite others to contribute to this discussion as well, and it doesn’t have to be strictly Doctor Who, either; anything from Big Finish will qualify. I’m going to start in a couple of days) with…
The Company of Friends - (Eighth Doctor)
Benny's Story - p1
Fitz's Story - p1
Izzy's Story - p2
Mary's Story - p2
Robophobia - (Seventh Doctor and Liv Chenka) - p2
The Transposition Trilogy
The Defectors - (Seventh Doctor and Jo Grant) - p2
Last of the Cyberman - (Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Zoe) - p2
The Secret History - (Fifth Doctor, Stephen and Vicki) - p2
Trial of the Valeyard - (Sixth Doctor) - p3
The Wrong Doctors - (Sixth Doctor and Mel) - p3
The Masters Trilogy
And You Will Obey Me - (Fifth Doctor and old Master) - p3
Vampire of the Mind - (Sixth Doctor and new Master) - p3
The Two Masters - (Seventh Doctor and both Masters) - p4
Doctor Who "Bonus Releases"
Her Final Flight - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4
Cryptobiosis - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4
Return of the Daleks - (Seventh Doctor) - p5
Return to the Web Planet - (Fifth Doctor and Nyssa) - p5
Doctor Who - Novel Adaptations
Love & War
Sixth Doctor Reunited with Peri
The Widow's Assassin - p4
Masters of Earth
The Rani Elite
Eighth Doctor and Mary Shelley
The Silver Turk - p5
The Witch from the Well
Army of Death
The Third Doctor Adventures
Prisoners of the Lake - p5
The Havoc of the Empires - p5
The Tenth Doctor Adventures (Vol. 2)
Infamy of the Zaross - p6
The Sword of the Chevalier - p6
THE SECRET HISTORY (conclusion):
“The Doctor,” Stephen and Vicki arrive in Ravenna for the first time. Now that the Monk has completely supplanted the Doctor, the listener can observe the differences in behavior, the decisions he makes and the actions he takes to manipulate events. The Monk’s goal is to create a Roman Empire which lasts through the 20th century. The Monk is also motivated by revenge against the Doctor for what happened to the Monk’s companion Tamsin (See “The Eighth Doctor Adventures”).
Sophia, Justinian’s servant and the Monk’s assistant while he was in the guise of Quintus, is half human, half Hetrodon. As such, she is a time sensitive. The Monk had used her to interfere with the Third and the Second Doctor’s timelines as trial runs for taking the place of the First Doctor. Sophia is aware the timeline is wrong, and opens up a portal to summon the Fifth Doctor from the original timeline. (This is an ability even Time Lords do not have.) It is the Fifth Doctor who sets up the Sixth to correct the damage done to the Second’s timeline, and the Sixth who sets up the Seventh to correct the damage done to the Third’s. What’s more, the Fifth goes back further in time, prior to the interference by the Monk, and contacts the Astradi, which is the alien race Stephen and Vicki were fleeing in the opening scene of part one (although we know now that wasn’t the real timeline, but the Monk’s altered one).
The Fifth Doctor arranges for the Astradi to track the Monk through time and space. They finally catch up to the “Doctor” in 6th century Constantinople when all these events come to a head. The Doctor theorizes that the Monk has an escape plan to return to himself to his own timeline (and the Doctor to his) should his plans go awry, which he does. With no other option at this point, the Monk is forced to restore the timelines to the way they were before his interference. The Monk escapes, but is cheated of his revenge on the Doctor.
This trilogy is brilliant, but quite difficult to follow the first time through. That’s all right, though; the best Doctor Who is often the most complex. It holds a lot to offer the seasoned fan, but I would steer any casual fans far clear of this one.
NEXT UP: "The Two Masters"
Slight change of plan. While I’m waiting for “The Masters Trilogy” to arrive, I’m going to post about a couple I listened to before but didn’t write up. I listened to this one shortly after finishing up four seasons of “The Eighth Doctor Adventures,” but I was a little burned out writing reviews at the time.
TRIAL OF THE VALEYARD:
“There is some evil in all of us – even the Doctor. Transported aboard the Time Lords' orbiting courtroom, the Doctor once again encounters the Valeyard, an amalgamation of the darker sides of his nature. This time, however, the Doctor isn't in the dock. This time, the Valeyard is the defendant, accused of a crime so terrible that the presiding Inquisitor is forbidden to reveal it even to the court, nor even to his counsel for the defence… the Doctor.
“If the Valeyard is found guilty, he'll be executed. Execute the Valeyard, and the secret of his origins dies with him. A secret that the Doctor is desperate to know… and which the Time Lords will stop at nothing to protect.”
This story was originally offered as a subscription exclusive (i.e., free if you signed up for the main range), but it went on general sale after a year. It was well worth the wait. It stars Michael Jayston as the Valeyard, Lynda Bellingham as Madame Inquisitor, and of course Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. The story comes in dribs and drabs as the three main characters pull information from each other in a tense courtroom drama, yet it never drags.
The Sixth Doctor is forced into a job he doesn’t want to do, which is to defend the Valeyard when he doesn’t even know what the charges are. Evidence suggests that the Time Lords went back in time to alter the laws in such a way that the case would be unwinnable. This story is nothing less than the origin of the Valeyard… or is it? The gist of the story is that the Doctor eventually becomes so obsessed wit the notion of becoming the Valeyard that, in an effort to prevent it, actually brings it about. By the end of the story a fourth main character is introduced: the Doctor’s 13th incarnation, who is quite insane.
How can this be? Well, I don’t want to tell you. Not everything is exactly as it appears, but enough is true that I consider this to be the canonical origin of the Valeyard. I’m really surprised Steven Moffett didn’t take the opportunity to address the matter of the Valeyard on television, but if whatever he might have done were to invalidate this story, I’m just as glad he didn’t. “Trail of the Valeyard” is not for casual fans, but I highly recommend it to anyone familiar with the “Trial of a Time Lord” series of Doctor Who.
I used "Valeyard" as my CB handle, during the brief period that I had access to a CB radio.
THE WRONG DOCTORS:
“With Evelyn gone, the Doctor sets course for his destiny... in the form of his first meeting with Miss Melanie Bush, a computer programmer from the village of Pease Pottage, currently busy rehearsing with the local Amateur Dramatic Society – and blissfully unaware that her future is on its way, in his TARDIS.
“Make that two TARDISes. Because at that very moment, a slightly younger Doctor is flying into Pease Pottage, too – returning his future companion Melanie Bush to her rightful place and time, after they were flung together during the course of his Time Lord trial.
“Time travel is a complicated business – the iguanadon terrorising Pease Pottage being a case in point. But how much more complicated could things possibly become, if the wrong Doctor were to bump into the wrong Mel?”
This is another one I have listened to previously but didn’t comment on at the time. It features two [Sixth] Doctors and two Melanies from four different time periods. In chronological order they are…
Younger Melanie – Lives in Pease Pottage in 1987. Has never met the Doctor.
Younger Doctor – From just after “Trial of a Time Lord”; has met a future version of Melanie at his trial, but has not yet met her in his own proper timeline and begun travelling with her.
Older Doctor – Has still not begun travelling with Melanie, but decides the time is right to “meet” her for the “first” time.
Older Melanie – From just after “Trial of a Time Lord”.
The story opens with the older Doctor, sad because his companion Evelyn Smythe has just left him. He decides it’s time to begin his travels with Melanie Bush. He pilots the TARDIS to Pease Pottage, 1987.
CUT TO: The younger Doctor and the older Mel. The Sixth Doctor’s trial is now over, and sets out to return her to her proper time. Mel asks why they can’t just “pick up where they left off,” but the Doctor explains that, from his point of view, that hasn’t happened yet. He resolves to return her to her home village of Pease Pottage. She attempts to tell him that that’s not where they first met, it was… But he cuts her off. He can’t know too much about his future activities. He reasons that his future self will know that, too, and the older, older Doctor (from older Mel’s time), will know to pick her up there.
The younger Doctor’s reasoning is sound, but it’s not the Doctor from older Mel’s time who comes looking for her, it’s the Doctor who is looking to meet Mel for the first time. But when the older Doctor goes looking for younger Mel, it is the older Mel he finds. He is surprised to discover that this Mel already knows him. He then meets his own younger self who has just dropped the older Mel off in 1987. All this is not even the story… it is merely the backdrop to the story!
I don’t know how much more I really want to say. The presence of two TARDISes in the same place causes an area of “cauterized time” but that’s not all that’s going on. One of the town residents claioms to be a “time demon” although the Doctor insists there’s no such thing. Both of the Doctors land their TARDISes in the same place, but when they go back to find them, neither can be found. Here’s how the Doctor (one of them, anyway) explains it. Imagine the area of cauterized time to be the surface of a trampoline. The “weight” of the two TARDISes causes the surface to dip, touching other levels of time. Within this pocket, people from past decades (not to mention dinosaurs) all co-exist.
By the time everything has been set right, the Doctor still has yet to “meet” Mel for the first time.
Wow, that sounds complicated.
It is... delightfully so.
The Wrong Doctors, Trial of the Valeyard (above) and Peri and the Piscon Paradox (reviewed elsewhere on this board; consult index) are my three favorite Sixth doctor audios. I've been studying the Sixth Doctor's timeline. There's one online that attempts to put all of the TV episodes, audios and prose books in order. One of these days I plan to listen to a lot more Sixth Doctor adventures.
THE MASTERS TRILOGY
Like “The Transposition Trilogy,” “The Masters Trilogy” is one I have had my eye on for some time. Also like “The Transposition Trilogy,” it features the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors. It is also hardly long enough to devote an entire discussion thread to and is one of the reasons I started this “miscellaneous” thread. We’ve seen multiple Doctors interact so many times (“The Three Doctors,” “The Five Doctors,” “The Two Doctors,” “Time Crash,” “The Day of the Doctor,” etc.) it seems odd we’ve never seen multiple iterations of the Master (who has had more incarnations than the Doctor) simultaneously.
The first part features the Fifth Doctor and the Old Master; the second part features the Sixth Doctor and the New Master; the third part features the Seventh Doctor and both Masters. It’s important, at this juncture, to distinguish who I mean when I refer to the “old” Master and the “new.”
The “OLD MASTER” is Geoffrey Beevers, who played the disfigured Master on TV in “The Keeper of Traken.”
The “NEW MASTER” is Alex Macqueen, who first played the Master with the shaved head in a UNIT story featuring the Seventh Doctor, then went on to bedevil the Eighth Doctor in several episodes of “Dark Eyes.”
AND YOU WILL OBEY ME:
“The Master: wanted for crimes without number, across five galaxies.
“The Master: escaped his pursuers. Last known location: rural Hexford, England, Earth.
“The Master: dead and buried in an unmourned grave, in a lonely churchyard.
The story opens at an auction with the Fifth Doctor bidding on a non-functioning antique grandfather clock. He sits next to a woman named Annie who is interested in the clock for reasons of her own. They each want the clock badly enough that they drive the bidding too high, too soon. It started at 100 pounds and quickly went up to 5000. There was also a man in a tweed coat bidding against them. When it became clear neither of them could pay, they were both ejected. The last bid of the man in the tweed coat was 2000, but a phoned in bid for 5000 won the day.
The Doctor and Annie linger about to see who will claim the clock. It belonged to a man named Michael Masterson, whose cottage was destroyed in a fire. The clock was the only thing undamaged. If you haven’t figured it out already, the Doctor believes the clock is the Master’s TARDIS. When a TARDIS becomes separated from its owner with no hope of being reunited, apparently a TARDIS sends out a distress signal to the Time Lords which, in this case, the Doctor intercepted.
This “Michael Masterson” had lived on the property as a virtual recluse for the past 30 years. Annie is interested in buying the property. When she went there to look around, she found the key to the grandfather clock. She went to the auction to either buy the clock or to sell the key to whoever did buy it.
There is also a young couple named Colin and Helen. Their friend “Mikey” got on the wrong side of their “master” somehow, and they are looking for the clock, too. They also have mind control powers. (Lurking in the background is the “dragon master” and his minion.) All parties come together when it comes time for the buyer to pick up the clock from the auction house. Suddenly, a Russian MI8 helicopter, a troop transport, arrives and soldiers begin descending from ropes. The soldiers are armed with stasers of Gallifreyan issue.
END OF PART ONE.
AND YOU WILL OBEY ME (continued…)
The soldiers are mercenaries hired by a woman named Janine, who is also the one who bought the clock at the auction.
The Dragon Master (and his novice, Jade Nymph) are Dragon Hunters, a race of man-size dragon flies, alien bounty hunters in search of the Master.
Colin and Helen look like teenagers, but they are 48 years old. They would have been teenagers in 1987, which is the year the Doctor came from when he heard the Master’s TARDIS’s distress call. (The sory takes place in 2016.) Colin and Helen friend Mikey is Michael Masterson’s son. Janine tries to convince the Doctor that Mikey is literally the Master’s son, but she’s the one who continually tries to hypnotize people around her. In order to scare information out of Grigor, one of Janine’s mercenaries, Helen asserts that she is actually an agent of MI5 and her pose as a real estate investor was just her cover. Colin and Hel have some sort of past history with the Master, but I’m not certain what that is at this point. Everybody is after the Masters, who may or may not have regenerated at this point.
I’m thoroughly (but happily) confused. Luckily, there are two more parts.
AND YOU WILL OBEY ME (continued...)
1984: Four teenagers, Colin, Helen, Mikey and Janine, are thrown off a bus for their rowdy behavior. Walking home though a field, it is their misfortune to encounter the Master. He is a bit the worse for wear due to a recent ordeal, but is nevertheless able to put the four teenagers under his thrall. Under his direction, they are compelled to commit illegal acts on his behalf. He is able to control three of them mentally, but Mikey is able to resist. Mikey’s brother is a severely scarred war vet. It is his resemblance to Mikey’s brother that somehow prevents him from falling under the Master’s complete control. Mikey rebels against the Master, attacks him, and thinks he has killed him.
It is at this point the Doctor arrives, in search of the Master. [NOTE: Yesterday’s reference to “1987” was a mistake; it’s 1984.] The Doctor meets Mikey briefly, but is then drawn to the Master’s TARDIS’s distress beacon from the year 2016. The Doctor goes directly there (or “then” I should say), but Mikey and his friends have to get there the old fashioned way, one day at a time. Because of his ability to resist the Master, Mikey ages naturally, but Colin, Helen and Janine don’t age due to a side effect of the symbiotic nuclei the Master used to control them.
Over the years they drift apart, and at this point, everyone suspects everyone else of being the Master’s pawn, yet none of the scenarios they concoct quite add up. The Doctor and Annie had previously examined the grave of the victim who died in the fire, but his body was missing. Was it the Master, regenerated? We later find out that Janine used her authority to have the corpse exhumed, but it wasn’t the Master. Mikey’s brother lived in seclusion because of his scars and consequently became the de facto caretaker of the Master’s clock/TARDIS. It was the Master who murdered him and activated his TARDIS’s distress call which set the events of this story in motion. But why didn’t he simply take his TARDIS at the time? Why go through the charade of an auction? The Doctor determines that the Master did so in an attempt to draw his four former pawns back for revenge. Prior to that, the Master had existed in the telepathic circuits of his own TARDIS. Now, the intergalactic bounty hunters are there to kill him, too. In his absence, they decide to kill the three who have traces of his symbiotic nuclei within them.
What happens next? I don’t know. I’m only minutes from the end, but that’s where I left off when I pulled into the garage this morning.
One final note about “And You Will Obey Me” before moving on, this story takes place rather late in the Fifth Doctor’s timeline, probably before meeting Peri but definitely after he has encountered the Anthony Ainley Master.
VAMPIRE OF THE MIND:
“Somewhere off the South Coast of England, there’s a lonely island. On that island stands a solitary castle, long since abandoned – haunted, they say. But the truth is, that castle houses something far worse than mere ghosts.
“The castle is what lies at the end of a trail followed by the Doctor in search of several missing scientists – all of them connected to the top secret Dominus Institute and its elusive CEO, Sir Andrew Gobernar…
“But the Doctor will soon discover that he’s the one being haunted, by a ghost from his past… or perhaps, his future.”
The Sixth Doctor arrives in 2016 to visit his old friend Professor Threadstone only to discover the Professor is currently missing. The Doctor is reacquainted with the Professor’s daughter, Heather, only a child when last he saw her but now a doctor herself. The elder Threadstone is one of several distinguished scientists who have gone missing lately. The only thing they have in common is that that all have done work for the highly secretive Dominus Institute. The Doctor and Heather have little luck infiltrating the facilities, so they decide to apply for a grant. (One of the stipulating for accepting the grant is that all work must be done one site.) They both apply, but to the Doctor’s consternation, his is rejected. He accompanies Heather as her “assistant.”
The Dominus Institute is in a castle on an island, a castle which was once used to imprison the Master. The Doctor confronts the Leader of the institute, Gobenar, as being the Master, but he is mistaken. The master isn’t too far away, though, and has, in fact, engineered the entire situation just to attract the Doctor’s attention. (The Master isn’t particular about which Doctor; he simply reasons if he started something in that locale at this time one of the Doctor’s incarnations or another was bound to notice.
The Master is in the throes of regeneration trauma. His TARDIS needs repair and he can’r rmrmber how to do it. One of the schemes he set in motion decades ago while imprisoned there was to lure and trap a mind leech. The mind leech has been trapped there for decades with no mind to feed on. Leeching off one another’s mind is natural for those of its own race, but damaging to humans. By the time the Master returned, the mind leech was nearly insane, easily susceptible to the Master’s manipulation.
By the time the Doctor arrived, the island was populated by “the walking dead,” or “blanks”: the missing scientists drained of their minds. The Master’s plan is to drain the Doctor’s mind, then use the facility’s resources to transfer the Doctor’s memories to himself in order to fix his TARDIS and be on his way. The Doctor sacrifices his short-term memory to restore the blanks and defeat the Master. There is no apparent link between “Vampire of the Mind” and “And You Will Obey Me” other than that the Old Master shows up in the last scene and kills a random (?) villager.
"The Dominus Institute is in a castle on an island, a castle which was once used to imprison the Master."
The castle from "The Sea Devils", perhaps?
Probably. I meant to add a line to the effect of, "I dodn't know off the top of my head which story that was from, but Bob probably will." It was a definite call-back to the Third Doctor era.