December 2, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Light At The End”

The Doctor must team up with himself to preserve the time line in this multi-Doctor adventure.

So, here I am with the second of my two Big Finish Doctor Who stories.  And while the plan was to get some stuff with Paul McGann to get an feel for the Eighth Doctor, I went a slightly different direction with this one and acquired one titled The Light at the End.

That one had the first eight Doctors and a host of former companions.

OK, let’s be fair:  the story mostly focuses on the Doctors whose actors are still alive.  Yes, that means Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvestor McCoy, and Paul McGann all are on hand.  The first three are there too, but in a weird side plot that says the First, Second, and Third Doctor are all in some sort of time stasis, and they get some lines in once in a while, but their role is rather minimal.  Now, the First and Second Doctor are both being played by former co-stars, so that’s nice, but I couldn’t really tell the first three apart thanks to the audio effects added to their voices aside from when the First Doctor addressed someone as “my boy”.

But that’s neither here nor there.  Essentially, something happened in November of 1963 (on, what I suspect, is the date the first episode aired), and if there’s one that seems to be the main Doctor, I’d hazard a guess it was the Eighth since we hear from him first.  He’s with his companion Charlie, a character created by Big Finish of which I know nothing.  As for the others, we have the Fourth with Leela, the Fifth with Nyssa, the Sixth with Peri, and the Seventh with Ace, all played by their original actors, and for one particular highlight, Ace takes a moment to describe all the other Doctors in the most disrespectful way possible to her Doctor, including the big-eyed guy with the scarf, the cricket player with the striped pants, and “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat”.

And all of this is basically because the Master got some kind of superweapon, with permission from the Time Lords’ own security service, that can rewrite history to make it so the Doctor never left Gallifrey, making the companions disappear one by one as history rewrites itself so they never met the Doctor to travel with him in the TARDIS.

And into this comes the Doctors.  Eight comes first, looking into some kind of other-dimensional weapons dealer that takes his TARDIS captive.  Then Four shows up, and he and Eight actually get along great aside from some mild sniping (considering how often the Doctor does not get along with himself, that’s something).

Six is next, and he ends up being one of the most instrumental of the bunch after he manages to escape being sucked into the Big Bang since he finds the Time Lord agents and figures out how to bring the others together.

Seven (with Ace) actually does some good exploring.

Five meets the man, a common Englishman who lost his family thanks to the Master, and which actually sets the whole trap off in the first place.

And then the Doctors meet.  Four and Eight go off to confront the Master, and Five, Six, and Seven reverse the trap.  It’s all a lot of fun, with cameos from numerous past companions (all hard to understand for the same reason it’s hard to figure out which voice is which for the first three Doctors), and the day is saved after about two hours of audio drama.

After all this, did I get a firm grasp on what kind of character the Eighth Doctor is?  Sadly, not really.  His adventures were fun, but I still don’t know much him.  Granted, I only have three adventures to go on.  One was a pilot, one was a rewritten story for another Doctor, and the last was a multi-Doctor team-up.  I may need to try more Big Finish stuff in the future.  These were great.  I mean, I sent a couple Fourth Doctor adventures to my parents for long car drives.

But, in the meantime, I need to move on to, well, a new Doctor and a new era.  So, here’s some more of that YouTube Doctor Who documentary I post every time I come to an end of another Doctor’s era.  I am not sure how much longer I am going to be able to keep doing this since the guy running that YouTube channel only has one more Doctor after this one, but we’ll see what happens when I get to that one.  In the meantime, here’s a somewhat long video explaining what happened from the end of the Sylvester McCoy era all the way to the start of the new series…that I will be starting with the next of these.

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