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19 April 2021

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Alfie Shaw

RRP: £8.99 (Download)

Release Date: April 2021

Reviewed by: Robert Emlyn Slater for Doctor Who Online


"Trapped, a haunted monster waits to consume new victims. It needs help. It needs a doctor. Unfortunately, it also needs to kill whoever it meets. Thrust into immediate danger, and on the back-foot, it will take all of the Doctor’s ingenuity to triumph.

Two interlinked adventures. Two Doctors. One foe."

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers. You have been warned!

After months of postponement thanks to the pandemic, Big Finish finally brings the Time Lord Victorious saga to a close with Echoes of Extinction, a multi-doctor story of sorts featuring both Paul McGann and David Tennant.

I have to admit, I was apprehensive going into this audio drama. I haven’t exactly paid that much attention to the Time Lord Victorious saga, mainly because I’m not made of money, so I was unsure as to whether or not I would understand any of what was to come in Echoes of Extinction. I know a little of the Time Lord Victorious story thanks to a couple of the books and comic strips I’ve read, but I was still a little worried that there would be plot points that I wouldn’t understand that would affect my enjoyment of the story. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

In fact, after having listened to this audio drama, other than a couple of references towards the TLV storyline right at the end, I’m struggling to understand why this story was even a part of the TLV in the first place. Other than acting as a little coda to the series, Echoes of Extinction could well have been just a regular release from Big Finish and it wouldn’t have made a single bit of a difference. 

The story itself consists of two half-hour episodes that are interlinked, which is a pretty neat concept and works well. One episode features the Eighth Doctor and the other features the Tenth Doctor, but it’s all one long overarching story. The Tenth Doctor has to clean up the mess the Eighth Doctor made in his episode as they both go up against the same enemy. 

Though there are two Doctor’s present in this story, they don’t directly interact with each other at any point, meaning this isn’t the sort of multi-doctor story we’re used to. 

I for one was pretty pleased that the Doctor’s don’t interact with each other. Over the past few years, I feel as though multi-doctor stories have become less of an event and more of just a thing that seem’s to happen on a regular basis in audio dramas, comics, and novels. The regularity of all these Doctor’s constantly meeting each other just kills the multi-doctor magic, and it becomes less special. Therefore, I have to praise writer Alfie Shaw for resisting the urge to have Eight and Ten meet up and swap sarcastic comments. The story works much better without all the usual, somewhat tedious, multi-doctor shenanigans thrown into the mix.

As for the story itself, it’s actually quite enjoyable. The first episode follows the Eighth Doctor as he lands on a space station manned by a butler droid called Edwards, his owner/captive, Jasmine, and a psychopathic serial killer called the Network. It’s in this episode that we learn who and what the Network is and discover what it actually wants. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, which leads us into Doctor number ten’s episode.

The second part of this story takes place on the planet the space station was orbiting. The Tenth Doctor has to mop up the mess his previous incarnation left behind and bring an end to the Network before it can slaughter the rest of the universe. 

Whilst I did enjoy this story, I do feel a little let down by the villain. In the first episode, the Network is built up to be this complex, psychopathic villain who is struggling with a bit of an identity crisis, however, by the end of the second episode it seems to have just regressed into a shouty monster who wants to kill everyone. Burn Gorman, brings an air of menace to the Network and is unrecognisable in the role. 

I have to further praise Alfie Shaw on how well he’s written both Doctor’s too, in particular the Tenth Doctor. He’s a lot sadder, a lot snappier, and seem’s to have a much shorter fuse than usual, which is definitely in keeping with where he’s at in terms of being the self-appointed Time Lord Victorious. It’s also always great to hear David Tennant back in the role too - so, bonus points for that. 

As always, Paul McGann is great and is brilliantly sarcastic, witty, and clever when going up against the Network as he tries to save Jasmine’s life. I am yet to hear Paul McGann give a performance that’s anything other than brilliant. 

In terms of timelines, from what I could gather, this adventure is set before the Eighth Doctor’s involvement in the Time Lord Victorious storyline (he hasn’t flown into the Dark Times with the Daleks yet, anyway), and it also seems to be set right at the end of the Tenth Doctor’s adventures in the TLV storyline too. I’m sure if you’ve been following TLV closer than I have it’ll wrap things up nicely, with the Doctor seemingly having learned his lesson from his war against the Kotturuh, but if you haven’t, it’s a touching ending to an enjoyable story all the same.

As well as McGann and Tennant, the guest cast is brilliant. Kathryn Drysdale was a great sort-of-companion to Eight, and Inés de Clerq was just the right amount of despicable to get you as annoyed with her as Tennant’s Doctor does. It’s also really weird hearing Arthur Darvill and Mina Anwar playing roles other than Rory Williams and Gita Chandra. Although they don’t really have much to do other than bicker and die, they’re fun additions to the cast all the same.

According to producer Scott Handcock, Echoes of Extinction can be listened to in any order. However, if you’re a more of a fan of linear storylines, I’d recommend listening to the Eighth Doctor’s story first, then the Tenth’s, like I did. It’ll make much more sense that way, but again, it’s entirely up to you. 

Overall, this is an enjoyable story with great performances from the two leads, and takes full advantage of a really interesting concept, that being future Doctor’s having to clean up the mess or finish jobs their past selves set in motion. Whilst I’m still unsure as to why Echoes of Extinction had to be a part of the Time Lord Victorious storyline, it’s still an enjoyable enough story all the same. 


+ TLV: Echoes Of Extinction is OUT NOW, priced £8
.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title from Big Finish!


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