Big Finish have just announced four releases covering its side of the ambitious multi-platform Time Lord Victorious project. Paul McGann will reprise his role as the Eighth Doctor for three new full-cast adventures while a pair of Short Trips stories will feature the Delgado and Ainley incarnations of the Master (yes, you read that correctly).
The three full-cast stories and the Short Trips double-bill are available to pre-order now and will be released between October and December, coinciding with the release of the previously announced books. Each title will be available individually for £8.99 download or £10.99 on CD. The Eighth Doctor trilogy will be available as a bundle and another bundle will also throw in the Short Trips release.
Joining McGann in the cast is Silas Carson and Nicholas Briggs reprising their voices roles as the Ood and the Daleks respectively. Samatha Béart, known to Big Finish fans as Orr in the Torchwood range, will play Tiska though it’s not clear yet if she’ll be appearing in all three stories. Actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw, who recently took over voicing the Brigadier, will perform the two Short Trips stories featuring the Master.
On the writing side, Big Finish have assembled a great mix of new and seasoned writers. Tracy Ann Baines makes her debut in the Doctor Who universe while Carrie Thompson pens her first full-cast story after the excellent Short Trips story The Second Oldest Question last year. Lizzie Hopley and Simon Guerrier are experienced Doctor Who writers and Fio Trethewey writes his second Short Trip after A Song for Running was released as a subscriber bonus in 2019.
We’ll talk speculation later, let’s look at the synopses and cover art…
He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not by Carrie Thompson
On the desert world of Atharna, the Doctor’s life is about to be changed forever.
Looking to visit one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe, the Doctor is quickly embroiled in a web of deceit. Worse than that, this Wonder of the Universe is missing, leading the Doctor to encounter one of his most dangerous and duplicitous adversaries.
The Doctor is about to meet Brian.
The Enemy of My Enemy by Tracy Ann Baines
The people of Wrax are happy to begin peaceful negotiations with the Dalek Empire. The two species are preparing to engage in an alliance that will last throughout the ages.
The only one who seems to object to this happy union is the Doctor. He knows that you can never trust the Daleks.
But more than that, he knows that the Wraxians should never have existed…
Mutually Assured Destruction by Lizzie Hopley
The fallout of the great battle.
Outnumbered and alone, on a Dalek time-ship careering through the vortex, the Doctor must use all his cunning to survive. As the saucer disintegrates around them, the Doctor is trapped with a crew of increasingly desperate Daleks.
Or are the Daleks trapped with him?
Short Trips – Master Thief by Fio Trethewey / Lesser Evils by Simon Guerrier
SYNOPSIS FOR MASTER THIEF:
The Master wants to plunder one of the most secure vaults in the universe, the Repository. He’s got a plan, and a deadly new weapon to assist him. However, as the Master quickly discovers, getting in might be easy, but getting away with it might cost him everything.
SYNOPSIS FOR LESSER EVILS:
The Kotturuh have arrived on the planet Alexis to distribute the gift of the death to its inhabitants. The only person standing in their way is a renegade Time Lord, who has sworn to protect the locals. A Time Lord called the Master…
Alfie Shaw, Producer:
Time Lord Victorious has been a glorious delight to work on. James Goss’ vision is astounding, and it’s been such an honour to work with him to bring Big Finish’s part of the project to life. We have three new authors writing the Eighth Doctor trilogy, pitting him against one of my new favourite characters in Doctor Who, Brian the Ood Assassin, as well old favourites, the Daleks. It all ties into the bigger Time Lord Victorious patchwork, but you can just listen to the McGann Trilogy and enjoy it on its own.
As I said in my previous post on Time Lord Victorious, I was holding out some hope that Christopher Eccleston might be reprising his role but I knew chances were slim. Knowing this press release was imminent, watching a slight misunderstanding play out on Twitter over the weekend got my hopes up right before Big Finish shot them down completely. Presumably the Ninth Doctor’s side of the story will be told mainly in comics.
With the release dates suggesting that they will be an intermediary part of the story between the two book releases, it’ll be interesting to see how much crossover there is. This structure implies that the books will serve as a prologue and epilogue to the stories that will take place in between via audio, comics and other media. However, it seems odd that, going by what information we have, only the Short Trips make any direct reference to the story elements shared by the books. We’re assured each licensee will treat their part of TLV as a complete story, so I’m interested to see how this is handled. Perhaps the Short Trips are likewise meant to bookend the main trilogy and transition the plot from book to audio and back. We’ll have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts on news of this new trilogy? How do you feel about the returning Masters? How do you think the comics and video games will continue the story? Let me know in the comments…