Review: Doctor Who – Out Of Time (Volume 3)

Review by Jacob Licklider

Out of Time has been an interesting little trilogy of stories, held together by the rather simple premise as the Tenth Doctor meets one of his previous incarnations and they have to fight a big villain. These releases were all recorded in 2020 when lockdown began and released annually with Wink being the final installment featuring the Tenth Doctor, the Sixth Doctor, and the Weeping Angels.

Lisa McMullin provides the script for the aptly named Wink, obviously a play on the story that introduced the Weeping Angels, Blink, and the marketing of the release promised this is a story where the Weeping Angels are even more dangerous because even winking won’t help you. This marketing was a little misleading, McMullin doesn’t fall into a cliché of having a villain on subsequent appearances being stronger until the story breaks.

McMullin makes the smart decision and places Wink on a planet which has periods of blinding light, the inhabitants are blind and both Doctors have to deal with the invasion of Weeping Angels. Like the best Weeping Angel appearances, McMullin’s script uses time travel to its advantage. The Sixth Doctor begins the adventure in the middle of an adventure the Tenth Doctor is dragged into, and the story itself ends up becoming a complete loop in a very clever way with some small hints (and one very big hint) sprinkled throughout the runtime which is very nice. It is also important to note that in the behind the scenes for this release, McMullin reveals that this script was written rather quickly to accommodate the availability of David Tennant. McMullin is a talented writer, as Wink manages to be an engaging one hour adventure taking delight in playing around with the dynamic between the two Doctors.

David Tennant and Colin Baker have perhaps the most interesting dynamic of all three Out of Time installments. While there is this pervading idea that the Doctors are antagonistic when they meet, mainly from the Troughton/Pertwee interactions in The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors, the Big Finish multi-Doctor stories generally have the Doctors getting along instantly, but for Wink both Doctors are almost immediately antagonistic. From cracks about the Sixth Doctor’s fashion sense to barbs about the Tenth Doctor’s inability to slow down his speech, the antagonism is there and actually feels like antagonism not just in good fun.

While this could have become abrasive in the hands of a different cast, McMullin’s script and the performances of Tennant and Baker make it work, exploring aspects of the other’s incarnation that they would dislike. It makes a fresh change and generally makes the characters more interesting as they are protagonists with actual flaws the other characters can point to. McMullin also keeps the script tight by only including three supporting characters, the two pseudo-companions Padilla and Estra played by Ayesha Antoine and Joanna Van Kampen, respectively, and Clive Hayward’s Dax who is killed rather quickly to give the Angels a voice of their own. The Angels themselves have some wonderful sound design, especially the way the Cherubs are realised on audio by sound designer Howard Carter. Everything is also tied together wonderfully by director Ken Bentley.

Overall, Out of Time 3: Wink plays around with some of the more interesting ideas and character dynamics for this style of story as the script and cast have a grip on what the story wants to be. While there are places where things are a bit shallow due to the limited runtime of a single hour, the story comes out on top as an incredibly enjoyable experience. 8/10.

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Review: Doctor Who – Out of Time (Volume 2)
Review: Doctor Who – Out Of Time (Volume 1)

Check out the rest of our Big Finish reviews!

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