Doctor Who Unbound: Masters of War Review

This Big Finish audio play features David Warner in his second appearance as the Doctor. His TV work ranges from Z Cars in 1963, to the animated Doctor Who story, Dreamland (2009). He’s had many roles in films such as TronTime BanditsThe 39 StepsTitanic, and even starred opposite Patrick Troughton in The Omen (1976). The Thal leader Gillan is played by Sarah Douglas, better known as Krypton baddie Ursa in the Superman films.
The premise of the Unbound stories basically offers a “what if?” scenario. Here, what if the Doctor had never been UNIT’s scientific advisor? In Sympathy for the Devil this alternate third Doctor was exiled to Earth in 1997, not the 1970’s of the Pertwee era. He found a world that had endured 3 decades of alien encounters and incursions, without the Time Lord to help.
In this sequel to Sympathy the Doctor and his companion the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) arrive on Skaro during curfew, to find that the Thals are ruled by the Daleks.
As you’d expect, the Doctor vows to end the Dalek occupation and sets out to capture a Dalek. Now reprogrammed to think that it’s their famed creator Davros, the Dalek returns to the city and confronts the Black Dalek. Two Dalek factions soon emerge and a civil war erupts just as the alien Quatch land on Skaro with their Chief Technician, the real Davros (Terry Molloy)!
The Daleks’ revered teacher has returned to subjugate his creations for the Quatch empire. Naturally the Daleks refuse to be enslaved and are forced into an uneasy alliance with the Thals.
When the Doctor questions a Quatch prisoner using a truth-drug, it reveals that it’s race manipulated the original Thal-Kaled conflict. Davros was crippled in that war and this led to his drive to create the Daleks. Betrayed and seeking revenge, Davros activates a secret device that he’s installed in the Quatch casings. He sacrifices himself in the ensuing explosion and the Quatch are banished back to their pocket dimension.
As the Doctor prepares to leave Skaro, the Brigadier elects to stay and help the Thals and Daleks in their peace process.
This story could easily have been sub-titled Redemption of the Daleks!
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About ecklefecken

Whovian/Pethead/Tartan Noir reader/Ripperologist/Blogger
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