To celebrate 20 years of producing Doctor Who audio drama, Big Finish have released The Legacy of Time, an epic six-part adventure uniting all corners of the Doctor Who universe. Read on to see my thoughts on the final three stories in this incredible set. You can read my thoughts on the first half of the set here.
4. “Relative Time” by Matt Fitton
The second half of the boxset kicks off with Relative Time, which sees the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) cross paths with Jenny (Georgia Tennant): aka the Doctor’s Daughter. While, of course, the timeline means that this interaction is wiped from the Doctor’s memory at the end of the story, this is a fun story that gives the real-life father-daughter pairing of Davison and Tennant a chance to act with one another on audio.
Both actors give it their all, and their natural chemistry translates to audio perfectly, creating a slightly different dynamic to that between Jenny and the Tenth Doctor. This is the main draw of the story, and leads to some really nicely-written, emotional scenes between the two characters.
The two are thrust together aboard a spaceship plagued by time distortions, inside which the Nine (John Heffernan) is hatching another of his plans to steal something special. He’s joined by Ronni Ancona‘s Thana, an interesting character who it appears the Doctor has met before.
Overall, this is a fun-but-light adventure, mainly focused on showing off the interaction between the Fifth Doctor and Jenny, but also serving to progress the main arc of the boxset.
5. “The Avenues of Possibility” by Jonathan Morris
Colin Baker and India Fisher reunite as the Sixth Doctor and Charley Pollard in Jonathan Morris‘s The Avenues of Possibility, a creative story all about roads leading to different versions of the past. It’s great to hear Baker and Fisher back together after all these years, and they prove here why they’re one of the best loved Doctor/companion pairings out there.
They’re joined in this story by Anna Hope‘s DI Menzies, another immensely popular character among Big Finish listeners. It was great to hear that the Menzies now seems to be in charge of extraterrestrial incidents as part of her job as a police officer, and I really hope we hear more of her soon, as both the character and actress are brilliant.
Sadly, due to the passing of Trevor Baxter in 2017, the original version of this story featuring Jago and Litefoot had to be changed. In the new version, the infernal investigators’ places are taken by historical figures Henry and John Fielding, brothers who invented the precursor to the police force: the Bow Street Runners.
Played by Duncan Wisbey and Richard Hansell respectively, Henry and John are great guest characters, well-written by Morris and great parallels for the modern version of the police force also seen in the story. It’s great when Doctor Who uses lesser-known historical figures, because it always gives them the spotlight they and their achievements deserve. This story is no different.
All in all, another great tale in The Legacy of Time, full of creative ideas and once again furthering the intriguing story arc at the centre of the set.
6. “Collision Course” by Guy Adams
The set wraps up with Collision Course by Guy Adams. This is really a tale of two halves: the first half follows Leela (Louise Jameson) and Romana (Lalla Ward) as they recall an adventure with Tom Baker‘s Fourth Doctor, while the second half sees the Doctors unite to take on the main villains of the set.
While the second half is intrinsically more exciting than the first (who doesn’t love a multi-Doctor story?), there’s a lot to like in the initial part of the story too. It’s an intriguing setup, seeing the Doctor exploring the same planet at different times: once with Romana and once with Leela. Things gradually become clearer concerning the events of the previous five stories, and, by the end of the story, the arc is wrapped up- in my opinion- incredibly satisfactorily.
The best part of the story has got to be the interactions between the Doctors, however. Moments like hearing Colin Baker spar with Sylvester McCoy are just marvellous, and really add to the celebratory nature of the release. There are a few surprises along the way too, so prepare to be shocked!
Collision Course is a great way to conclude The Legacy of Time, bringing together all corners of Doctor Who history in an exciting showdown with an old enemy. Fantastic.
A magnificent celebration of all things Doctor Who at Big Finish, The Legacy of Time is a must-have release. With a wide variety of stories, and a wide variety of Doctors and their companions, there’s so much to enjoy in this set.
A huge well-done to David Richardson and Ken Bentley for arranging all of the recording sessions. With over six hours of material and an absolutely massive cast list, I’m sure it was no easy feat!
Congratulations, and here’s to the next 20 years, Big Finish!
The Legacy of Time is available as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com
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