The Eighth Doctor: Time War Volume 4 Sept 17, 2020 22:03:51 GMT via mobile Andymac, barnabaslives, and 1 more like this
Post by shallacatop on Sept 17, 2020 22:03:51 GMT
Good post. I think it's interesting that someone else had this comment about the story order. I had the same comment about the first set, and the same starting into this set - I think I was trying to leave everything as much of a surprise as possible and hadn't expected Davros until later on - but I started to wonder if that really was the point that we get a sense of the disjointedness of events in the Time War. Story order is rarely if ever a complaint I've had about any other box sets, Big Finish usually seems to have a fairly impeccable sense of arranging stories so that they do feel like they're in the right order.
I still have the last story to go but whatever happens I think I could end up fairly content that it comes with the territory. It's starting to feel like a slightly odd complaint to have about timey-wimeyness when that's the first thing about this set that I want to complement is that John Dorney's wonderful gift for writing timey-wimey stories that don't feel gimmicky is very much in evidence here.
It will be interesting to see what I think about the story order for the series later on if I go back and listen to it as a whole.
Hmm, I don’t think it’s an odd complaint just because the concept of the Time War and some of the stories feature different timelines and delve into that in detail. There still needs to be the sense of cohesion and it needs to be dramatically satisfying.
The reason I had my thought when listening to Dreadshade is partially because I was intrigued by the references to past stories, which made me think about them in detail, and also because I was grateful for a story without the Daleks. I absolutely love the Daleks, but a lot of this range is dominated by constant dealings with Gallifrey, near misses with the Daleks and a tacked on Time War environment. It’s also balancing itself between a more relaxed Doctor than in Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition & Ravenous, with some lighter stories to boot, but also tries to constantly put the Doctor in the midst of the Time War. In a strange way, I think the series should have perhaps distanced itself from the Time War a little. Have one or two Time War stories or elements a set, but also go for those standalone, fun and care free stories that hark back to the Lucie or Charley days. After all, this is a Doctor who is very much against fighting in the Time War, but is aware of its ongoing presence.
And, in hindsight, it’s something which could’ve easily been avoided. The War Valeyard and the events in that story should’ve happened in the second set. That way we get a running theme where the Doctor is picking up the pieces throughout and the stories stand on their own better, without having to spend time weaving the Daleks into them. The Time War has caused all of these events and stories to unfold, but you get a legitimate reason for a more laid back and care free Doctor and he’s actively avoiding the Time War because he isn’t actually aware of it for the bulk of the range, though it’s effects are still very much a presence.
Ideally I’d change the first set more, so it’s the Doctor & Sheena having regular adventures, with Starship of Theseus being the finale and propelling the Doctor into the Time War. Then the second set is a couple of stories from the second and third series, finishing with The War Valeyard. The third set would be repurposed to remove the Daleks & direct mentions of the Time War to reflect the events of the War Valeyard. The fourth set would be Dreadshade, where the Doctor realises the events of The War Valeyard, then Palindrome and then Restoration of the Daleks.
There’s some bigger changes, but mainly it’s just a reshuffle of the stories and removing those unnecessary appearances by the Daleks that inadvertently bog down the story at hand. Then the reappearance of the Daleks & Davros in Palindrome feels even more epic than the story already is, leading into Restoration of the Daleks (which I admittedly haven’t heard yet), which in turn leads onto wherever the range goes next. That would presumably be a Doctor a little more akin to what we see outside of his own range, such as Lie of Ruins, Rage of the Time Lords, etc.
It’s not actually something I’ve thought about massively; it’s just what I thought when listening to Dreadshade today and I was going to wait until after finishing the set to talk about, but now seemed a good opportunity.