Doctor Who Audio Review: Reluctant Allies

Agents of Chaos is the third volume of Doctor Who audio set featuring John Hurt as the War Doctor. These continue the efforts of this once unknown incarnation of the Doctor during the chaos of the Time War. There are three episodes in this one. Nicholas Briggs continues to voice the Daleks and also directed this compilation. Jacqueline Pearce also returns as Cardinal Ollistra. Helen Goldwyn, Honeysuckle Weeks, Barnaby Edwards, Neve Mcintosh, and Dan Starkey are included in the cast. Of course, Big Finish Productions are the masterminds behind this offering which was first released in October 2016.

David Llewellyn starts off with his script entitled The Shadow Vortex. The War Doctor is sent to East Berlin in 1961 to track down a Dalek agent, however a dangerous experiment is about to have disastrous results. The War Doctor must first elude the attentions of MI6 and KGB. It’s a pretty good start, and I like the cat and mouse chase between the War Doctor and the Dalek agent known as Lara Zannis. It’s noisy and kicks off this collection cosmic war stories with a promising storyline. Of course, Hurt gives an excellent performance. I wasn’t all that keen on his introduction in the fiftieth anniversary special on television, but he has grown on me.

Andrew Smith continues the fun with The Eternity Cage in which the War Doctor has just learned that Cardinal Ollistra was just kidnapped by the Sontarans. On the planet Rovidia, The War Doctor learns the secrets of the Eternity Cage and learns of an unexpected traitor among his small group of allies. Smith has been associated with Doctor Who a long time, and he deserves to continue in that vein. The story is a little hard to picture in the mind at times, but it’s still pretty good. Weeks shines quite brightly here as the Cardinal’s assistant with a secret of her own. Dan Starkey returns to voice the Sontarans, and he once again hits the right radically militaristic notes.

Finally, Ken Bentley closes this book with Eye of Harmony. The Dalek Time Strategist has a powerful force he can unleash, and the War Doctor still has a chance to stop, but he is trapped in a damaged battle-TARDIS with time, predictably, running out.

This whole set was pretty good. The reveal of the traitor was well handled. All of the cast performed well. John Hurt continues to live up to his status as a legend. As mentioned before, I am not instinctively a big fan of the War Doctor, however Big Finish has sort of helped me raise my respect for this character. Although the War Doctor is supposedly the more ruthless of the incarnations, there are plenty of moments that have him more recognizable as the Doctor, however he does not claim that title during this time. This collection is enjoyable in spite of sometimes confusing action sequences.

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