Review: The War Master – Killing Time

Review by Jacob Licklider


What made the first two instalments of The War Master work incredibly well was the decision to have the Master acting as a background character, working his scheme and influencing people to do things that seem to be good before things fall right apart at the end and it turns out the Master’s been in control all along. Killing Time, the sixth installment (though the fifth to be recorded, switched due to the COVID-19 pandemic) places the Master on the Stagnant Protocol. The planet is one that is out of the way and only noticed when people think that it can be taken over for its own gain. Currently there is a viral plague which the government has been inefficiently handling allowing for a new empress to take power with the Master working from behind the scenes. Now, this series was recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 virus even existed, yet James Goss and Lou Morgan, in writing a science fiction set where the government doesn’t take the plague seriously, and the scientists are trying desperately to find a cure to the variants. In the behind the scenes interviews, the absurdism of Goss and Morgan’s premises for these episodes, as they weren’t expecting a global pandemic to take the world into one where the situation of the Stagnant Protocol is one that we now all know far too well. Even more coincidentally, this isn’t the only time this happened for Big Finish, two main range releases were delayed for similar reasons.

Continue reading

Review: The War Master – Hearts of Darkness

Review by Jacob Licklider


The War Master since its inception in 2017, has become one of Big Finish Productions’ most consistent ranges, with three of the four previous sets being released to critical acclaim with only one falling short. The range has been characterised by an exploration of darker themes throughout the Time War, giving Derek Jacobi one of the darkest incarnations of the Master to portray and explore. War is the prominent theme and how war changes people and planets, the hopelessness associated with a war to end all wars such as the Time War, and the atrocities which arise from two societies being pushed to their limit. The audio format is perfect for this type of story as it allows the cast and crew to go as dark as possible, using the power of suggestion to depict such atrocities and the listener’s mind is responsible for the gruesome images, all the while never having to restrict themselves to an adult only audience. These types of stories were best explored by the first, third, and fourth sets, while the fifth sets, Hearts of Darkness, instead decides to focus in on how the war is most effecting the two Time Lords set to survive the Time War, the Doctor, here played by Paul McGann, and, of course, the Master. Keeping the established format of four stories written by two authors, in this case David Llewellyn and Lisa McMullin, telling a linked tale over the four-hour period. Unlike previous sets, Hearts of Darkness employs several plot twists which recontextualises what has come before in the set, making it near impossible to separate each episode from one another. Things change, and like any good story, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Continue reading

Review: The War Master – Anti-Genesis

Review by Jacob Licklider


The War Master: Anti-Genesis is the fourth, and potentially final, installment in Big Finish’s War Master range starring Derek Jacobi. Unlike the other Big Finish ranges dealing with the Time War, the War Master does not have an overarching plot through each of the four box sets as they are placed around this Master’s personal timeline. Anti-Genesis sets itself apart from the other three box sets, as unlike the previous sets, it is less a standalone War Master release, but a crossover with the Gallifrey range, featuring Sean Carlsen and Pippa Bennett-Warner as Narvin and President Livia, respectively. It is also a plot which reflects on Genesis of the Daleks and that stories implications for the Daleks and Time Lords, while placing the War Master directly in the action. For this review there will be spoilers for each of the stories in the set. As the set was only recently released, a non-spoiler review for those who have not heard it or are wary about spoilers: it is an excellent set. Derek Jacobi as always gives an excellent portrayal of the Master and giving him one scheme throughout instead of other sets giving him a scheme a story helps bring the set into a focus. The overarching plot is engaging and truly feels like a story involving a time war, instead of simply relying on Daleks and Time Lords engaging in traditional warfare. It’s a set that’s worth your time and should be picked up as soon as you can.

Continue reading

Big Finish brings us War Master versus the Master

It takes a Master to defeat a Master…. Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Gatiss battle it out this December in a new four-part adventure from Big Finish Productions.


Continue reading

Review: The War Master – Rage of the Time Lords

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Four new stories featuring the Master’s exploits in the Time War…..With all of space and time in chaos, the Master plots his most audacious project yet. Only one other Time Lord has ever been able to stop him. But where is that Time Lord when the universe needs him?

Continue reading

Review: The Diary of River Song – Series 5

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


River is back to her Big Finish audio best; but instead of following the timeline of her hubby, she is following the life and faces of his Timelord nemesis, the Master. Continue reading

Review: The War Master – The Master of Callous

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


In this second War Master set from Big Finish, they have; instead of 4 stand alone stories, given us one ongoing 4-part story of the Master on one world. A bold and ultimately inspired move. Continue reading

Review: Unit – Cyber Reality

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


The UNIT team are back, chasing computer generated worlds, Cybermen and the Master all in one set! Continue reading

Review: Gallifrey – Time War

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


Big Finish, already being all over the Time War, now brings the Gallifrey gang into the fray. Continue reading