Season 6B is something of a controversial subject amongst fans; many like the use of the Doctor as a Gallifreyian agent being part of his punishment prior to regeneration while others see it as undermining the very effective and emotional ending of The War Games (a personal favourite of the regeneration stories, narrowly beaten by Logopolis). Personally I’m relatively indifferent to Season 6B since, or at least until this boxset, it was something that just seemed slightly lame. But now I must admit I am fully sold on telling stories during this sub-season since Beyond War Games is shockingly compelling and some of the best Second Doctor material Big Finish have published in a long long time; not since The Black Hole have I been this enthusiastic about dedicated releases from one of my favourite Doctors.
2022 is a year of change for Big Finish. We are already a month into the year and the switch to box sets has meant that there is a new format for every range, with a majority of the previous box sets decreasing to three CDs instead of four. To bring the Third Doctor into the new box set era, Nicholas Briggs pens and directs ‘The Annihilators’, Big Finish’s first seven-part story and Briggs’ tribute to Season 7. This is how it was initially announced complete with dummy cover, until it was revealed that Michael Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, would appear as the Second Doctor with Frazer Hines reprising his role as Jamie McCrimmon. This, while understandable as to why it is integrated into the story, does mean that the second half of the story where Briggs admirably pulls off a story style switch which makes it feel like a completely different story instead of just a different direction. Jamie and the Doctor end up on a mission although it’s not quite clear if it’s for the Time Lords, but considering how Doctor Who expanded universe material likes to make it for the Time Lords that’s probably what’s being done here. There wasn’t an intention to cross the timelines, and it is explicit that the Third Doctor has had his memories altered in some way, and the story ends in a way that we are dealing with timelines in flux, but the sheer different nature makes this more akin to The Daleks where the second half could be a completely different story.