Friday, 3 February 2017

Doctor Who Unbound: Masters of War Review


Eddie Robson's Big Finish audio play (released in 2008) featured the Manchester-born actor David Warner in his second appearance as the Doctor. His TV work ranges from
Z Cars in 1963, to the animated Doctor Who adventureDreamland then Cold War. Warner's film work includes notable roles in TronTime BanditsThe Thirty Nine StepsTitanic, and he even starred opposite Patrick Troughton in The Omen (1976).
Now a prolific Big Finish artist, Warner has reprised his role for the forthcoming four-part release, The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield: The Unbound Universe.
The Thal leader Gillen is played here by Sarah Douglas, better known as Krypton
baddie Ursa in the Superman films.
The premise of the Unbound stories basically offers a “what if?” scenario.
In this instance, what if the Doctor had never been UNIT’s scientific advisor?
In Sympathy for the Devil (2003) this alternate third Doctor was exiled to Earth in
1997, not the 1970′s of the Pertwee era. He found a world that had endured three
decades of alien encounters and incursions, without the Time Lord to help.
In this sequel to Sympathy, the Doctor and his companion Brigadier Lethbridge-
Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) arrive on Skaro during curfew, to find that the Thals
are ruled by the Daleks. As you’d expect, the Doctor vows to end the Dalek occupation
and sets out to capture a Dalek. Now reprogrammed to think that it’s their famed creator Davros, the Dalek returns to the city and confronts the Black Dalek. Two Dalek factions
soon emerge and a civil war erupts just as the alien Quatch land on Skaro with their
Chief Technician, the real Davros (again played by Terry Molloy).
The Daleks’ revered teacher has returned to subjugate his creations for the Quatch
empire. Naturally the Daleks refuse to be enslaved and are forced into an uneasy
alliance with the Thals.
When the Doctor questions a Quatch prisoner using a truth-drug, it reveals that it’s
race manipulated the original Thal-Kaled conflict. Davros was crippled in that war and
this led to his drive to create the Daleks. Betrayed and seeking revenge, Davros activates a secret device that he’s installed in the Quatch casings. He sacrifices himself in the ensuing explosion and the Quatch are banished back to their pocket dimension.
As the Doctor prepares to leave Skaro, the Brigadier elects to stay and help the Thals
and Daleks in their peace process.
This story could easily have been sub-titled Redemption of the Daleks!

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