The Time War between Daleks and Time Lords rages across the history of the cosmos. Nowhere is safe Worlds are ravaged by battles beyond their understanding, but certain other races hunger to fight in the ultimate conflict.

When Earth comes under threat, the War Doctor is drawn into Ollistra’s schemes once again. But the wily Time Lord Cardinal has not foreseen every move. The Dalek Time Strategist has its own game-pieces in play, and when volatile forces with their own agenda join the fray, no-one can predict how the war might turn…

New Writers

The War Doctor bursts back on to audio in it’s third part, Agents of Chaos, Nicholas Briggs is back in the director’s chair and has brought along three new (to this series) writers to pen the continuation of the war story series that takes place in the infamous but largely unexplored period of the Time War.

The Shadow Vortex
BIG FINISH - Doctor Who - The War Doctor 3.1 The Shadow Vortex by David Llewellyn
BIG FINISH – Doctor Who – The War Doctor 3.1 The Shadow Vortex by David Llewellyn

The set kicks off with The Shadow Vortex by David Llewellyn. The War Doctor is despatched to East Berlin in 1961, on the trail of a Dalek agent, Lara Zannis, who is on a very special mission for the Dalek Time Strategist. Caught between MI6 and the KGB, the War Doctor must first escape the Stasi before he can hope to stop Lara.

This is a great opener for the set, with the setting managing to feel both original and totally fitting at the same time. There are two stand out performances from Neve Macintosh aka Madam Vastra as Lara and Timothy Speyer, the sympathetic Stasi officer Kruger.

The Eternity Cage
BIG FINISH - Doctor Who - The War Doctor 3.2 The Eternity Cage by Andrew Smith
BIG FINISH – Doctor Who – The War Doctor 3.2 The Eternity Cage by Andrew Smith

Next up is The Eternity Cage by Andrew Smith. Sontarans are the ultimate warriors – so they believe – and the Time War the ultimate conflict. Denied that glory by Skaro and Gallifrey alike, General Fesk of the Eighth Sontaran Battle Fleet employs a dangerous strategy to draw both sides together in order to prove his forces worthy.

This is just a fantastic idea for a story, we know from televised Who that the Sontarans weren’t permitted to join the Time War, and here we get to see why not. This story is reminiscent of  the Tom Baker story, The Invasion Of Time, in the sense that it establishes the Sontarans’s strength and brute force that may not win out in the end but acts to demonstrate that their threat capability is higher than one might expect.

Eye of Harmony
BIG FINISH - Doctor Who - The War Doctor 3.3 Eye of Harmony by Ken Bentley
BIG FINISH – Doctor Who – The War Doctor 3.3 Eye of Harmony by Ken Bentley

And finally, we have Eye of Harmony written by often-time Big Finish Director, and first-time writer Ken Bentley. The Dalek Time Strategist is presented with a unique opportunity to strike a lethal blow to the heart of Gallifrey that could cause the future of the Time War to turn in an instant. Trapped inside a critically-damaged Battle-TARDIS, hopelessly adrift in the Time Vortex, the War Doctor and his allies have a final desperate fight on their hands. This is the jewel in the crown of the set.

First time Big Finish writer Ken Bentley, should be super proud of some truly wonderful ideas coming together and culminating in one of the best and most exciting Big Finish stories in memory. Loosely inspired by Das Boot, this war story contains a threat to everything that makes Doctor Who what it is. Huge congratulations to all involved.

Scintillating and Beautiful Performances

John Hurt is scintillating as the Doctor and foiled beautifully by Jacqueline Pearce as Cardinal Ollistra. There are also so great guest performances from Dan Starkey as the Sontarans, Honeysuckle Weeks as Heleyna and Josh Bolt as Kalan.

The continued challenge with these stories for the War Doctor: is he morally different enough from his previous and future incarnations? In the first two segments to the War Doctor story this was achieved with consistency and this third part is no different.

Reap the Rewards

For those whom may have felt cheated by losing an entire regeneration during John Hurt’s one off tenure in the role for the 50th Anniversary, Big Finish helps Who fans reap the rewards of this fabulous actor’s invigorating and unique interpretation of the legendary Time Lord.

This series goes from strength to strength and comes highly recommended to new, and experienced fans of Doctor Who. The assembled guest cast are top of their game. The War Doctor stories started out brilliantly and have only got better, I fear this set will be hard to top, but then, that’s what I said at the end of my last two reviews…

BLOGTOR WHO RATING 10/10

Written By: David Llewellyn, Andrew Smith, Ken Bentley

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast:

John Hurt (The War Doctor), Jacqueline Pearce (Cardinal Ollistra), Neve McIntosh (Lara), Honeysuckle Weeks (Heleyna), Timothy Speyer (Kruger), Helen Goldwyn (Professor Crane), Gunnar Cauthery (Kavarin), Matthew Cottle (Leith), Dan Starkey (General Fesk/Sontarans), Josh Bolt (Kalan), Barnaby Edwards (Vassarian), Andrew French (Muren) and Nicholas Briggs (Dalek Time Strategist/Daleks)

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor Matt Fitton

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

THE WAR DOCTOR VOLUME 03: AGENTS OF CHAOS is available to buy now direct from Big Finish.

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