Review – Doctor Who: The War Doctor Vol 3. ‘Agents of Chaos’

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)

See our review of The War Doctor: Vol 1: Only the Monstrous

The really impressive thing about the War Doctor range (yes apart from getting John Hurt to do it, the amazing scripts, wonderful directing and music) is the fact that each set whilst following a through-line has its own unique feel and theme. Agents of Chaos is no exception. The idea of having people and items that add a wild card to an already chaotic universe beset by the Time War is inspired.
978-1-78575-191-2These stories might be the best in the series yet. With a mercenary from Earth (Neve McIntosh) trying helping the Daleks, Sontaran’s (Dan Starkey) desperately trying to break into the Time War and a Time Lady (Honeysuckle Weeks) who wants revenge for the ill that befell her family as a result of the Time War.

Added to this Jacqueline Pearces Cardinal Ollistra is at her finest and takes a more central role. Pearce does a fantastic job as always of riding the line between manipulating the Doctor, showing genuine admiration for him and sometimes just landing him in it for her own ends.
David Llewellyn and Andrew Smiths stories are great; but the gripping conclusion written by Ken Bentley really leaves you on the edge of your seat for the last box set in this series, especially as it’s a cliff-hanger on this one. And how hard it is to believe that we are almost at the 4th set already!

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I really like how they use the Daleks (Nicholas Briggs) too. Although they are always the over-riding evil in the story; you get to see some of the other players and see the Time War from different perspectives as well as what the Time War does to change people and planets.

Finally, I have to again praise the mighty John Hurt. Once again he perfectly rides the line between being the Doctor and rejecting the title (he even gets his best pseudonym to date in the last story). It’s not easy to play the Doctor; not being the Doctor, whilst not doing anything the Doctor can’t come back from; but all of this is in there.

Forgive me if this is a shorter review, but I really don’t want to spoil any of the surprises on this one.

Wonderful listen, if you don’t get this you’re a Dalek short of a Time War! 9/10 sonics.

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See our review of War Doctor – Vol 1.!
Check out the rest of our Big Finish reviews!

One thought on “Review – Doctor Who: The War Doctor Vol 3. ‘Agents of Chaos’

  1. […] The War Doctor range was one of the Big Finish ranges sadly cut off due to the passing of Sir John Hurt.  A fifth box set was actually planned and some of those scripts have been used in other ranges such as The War Master, at least in similar premises.  Now that time has passed, the character has been recast with Jonathon Carley, most well known for several fan Doctor Who productions, and instead of continuing John Hurt’s legacy as the character which may have been insensitive if done incorrectly, goes back to the beginning of the character to explore what the War Doctor actually kind of means.  The War Doctor Begins was announced as four box sets, starting release in June 2021 all looking to lead to essentially where their War Doctor releases began.  Forged in Fire sports a beautifully painted cover by Claudia Gironi featuring Daleks and Thals and a younger John Hurt.  It also is a set which sets up something interesting for the character, taking a step away from what Steven Moffat implied with the character, that he was the version of the Doctor who went against everything that the Doctor stood for, that his purpose was to be a warrior.  There is something to be said to the recast; Carley joins Jon Culshaw’s Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sadie Miller’s Sarah Jane, and Elliot Chapman’s Ben Jackson (among others) in Big Finish’s roster of perfect recasts.  Carley worked closely with director Louise Jameson to ensure that his impression was more than just an impression, but really embodying the younger version of the character.  He makes it his own and Jameson’s direction is also a welcome change as her touch makes the entire set have a different atmosphere to Big Finish’s usual output. […]


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