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

Her Final Flight - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4

Cryptobiosis - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4
  

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Almost certainly "The Sea Devils", then.

THE TWO MASTERS:

“The future is dying. All over the universe, gaps are beginning to appear. From the space lanes terrorised by the rag-tag remnants of the once-mighty Rocket Men, to the empire of the Gorlans, stricken by a terrible civil war. Gaps in space/time, portents of the end of everything.

“Only three beings might prevent it. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. The Master, another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And another Master, yet another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey.

“One Doctor. Two Masters. What could possibly go wrong?”

A time anomaly of some sort forces the Seventh Doctor’s TARDIS to make an emergency landing aboard the cargo bay of a pirate ship belonging to the Rocket Men. It seems that while travelling in the vortex, the TARDIS passed through space of “blank time” approximately 30 in the future relative to when he landed. The Rocket Men have just committed a raid within the past hour, yet none of them recall precisely what it was they stole. The Doctor soon discovers a similar band of blank time in the recent pat which accounts for the gaps in the Rocket Men’s memories.

The Doctor is thrown in the brig where he meets Jemima, a reluctant member of the crew. She asks if he will take her with him, becoming his companion for this episode. The Old Master arrives looking for the Doctor. He kills the captain and soon discover the Doctor has already escaped from his cell. They come together in the cargo hold, where Jemima describes the Master’s TARDIS as looking “sparkly and melty.” The Master needs the Doctor’s help in opposing the Master’s “greatest adversary,” his own future self.

The Old Master instructs the Doctor how to “jump over” the gap in time and they find themselves on another “time island.” In this time, the New Master is playing each side against the other in the Gorlan civil war.” The Doctor has no memory of the events of “Vampire of the MNind”, and it’s hinted that the problems the New Master had fixing his TARDIS in the previous episode may not have been due to post regenerative trauma after all, and that whatever caused the damage to his TARDIS in the first place may be yet to come.

END PART ONE

THE TWO MASTERS (continued):

We’re supposed to think that the reason the Seventh Doctor has no memory of “Vampire of the Mind” is because the Sixth Doctor sacrificed his short term memory to save the day, but we soon discover that the seventh Doctor has no memory of “And You Will Obey Me” either, and that happened to the Fifth Doctor (or “the drippy blond one who dressed like no cricket player ever” as described by the Master). The Old Master and the New Master have, due to a series of events much too convoluted for me to explain here after only one listen, believe me, switched bodies.

The New Master (in the Old Master’s body) wants his own body back, but the Old Master (in the New Master’s body) seems completely unconcerned about destroying his old body. But what’s really (?) going on is that, although the two Masters have switched bodies, the New Master (ITOMB) is working with the Old Master (ITNMB) to betray the Doctor. The plan is to transfer the Doctor’s mind into the Old Master’s body so that the Old Master’s mind (currently in the New Master’s body) can be transferred to the Doctor and the New Master can have his own body back.

I haven’t finished this one yet, but I’m going to leave it at that. I’ll finish it today, but I won’t be back online until Tuesday following the three-day weekend. I am also going to take a break from this discussion for a while. I had originally planned to be at this break point before Doctor Who returned to TV with a new season so I’m a little behind. I’ll plan to back up and finish listening to the Eighth Doctor and Charley, then move on to the Sixth Doctor and Charlie. I don’t intend to review those here because I haven’t done any of the previous ones. (That will be a major project sometime in the future.) After that I’ll probably continue on with the Sixth Doctor’s travels with Flip and Constance.

The Eighth Doctor enters the Time War begins in November, but before that I will be back with “Classic Doctors, New Monsets” vol. 2 in July.

But first…

HER FINAL FLIGHT:

“When the Doctor lands on Refiloe, he's not impressed. In fact, he doesn't intend to stay for more than just a few minutes. But someone has decided that the TARDIS has made her final flight. Someone whose future depends on the Doctor's death.”

This is a rather old one, first released in December 2004 and available for a year only as a subscription exclusive (i.e., free with a subscription to the main range), then available for general sale after that. Even today it cost only around six and a half bucks U.S. (depending on the rate of exchange). This one features the Sixth Doctor and Peri and is important in defining the Sixth Doctor’s convoluted timeline. It doesn’t really answer too many questions in that respect, although it definitely takes place after the trial from the Sixth Doctor’s POV.

Fort Peri, “nineteen or twenty years” have passed since the Doctor left her on Thoros Beta, but it’s really a moot point because [SPOILER] the entire adventure is an illusion implanted in the Doctor’s mind. [END SPOILER] Nevertheless, it is worth listening to and it does inspire the Doctor to seek Peri out.

CRYPTOBIOSIS:

This is another former subscription special (from 2006), also featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri, also available for about six and a half bucks. Here’s the synopsis…

“There's a ship out there, on the ocean. She's called Lankester and, every year, she sails from Madagascar to New Orleans and back again. Every year. Without exception. Regular as clockwork. Her schedule is never behind. Her cargo is always fresh. This trip, she has passengers. The passengers have baggage. And the baggage might just be enough to sink her.”

This one features the Sixth Doctor and Peri with no clue as to where it fits in the timeline. I’m going to guess it occurs sometime within the gap between “Revelation of the Daleks” and “The Mysterious Planet” (in other words, well before the “Trial of a Timelord” season). As I understand it, the Sixth Doctor had quite a few (non-televised) adventures with Peri, then had adventures with other companions as well before the trial. He also had a series of companions after the trial, including a reunion with Peri and more adventures with her. (I’m still trying to sort it all out.) I believe this story occurs during Peri’s first stint as companion.

There’s not much I can say about the plot without giving it away, so… SPOILERS. The passenger in a wheelchair is a mermaid who was captured when she tried to free her infant daughter who had become entangled in one of the ship’s tuna nets. When she dies, the dilemma becomes whether or not to let the captain exploit the baby by selling it to a freak show or to dump it in the ocean to take its own chances. Peri and the Doctor have become separated. Peri believes the Doctor has drowned, but actually he has been rescued by the baby’s grandfather. When the Lankester sinks, with the merman rescue the crew which threatened his granddaughter’s happiness? And on which side does the Doctor fall?

I would classify this as a good solid story, but nothing special.

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