Monday, 14 December 2015


The Seventh Doctor Novel Adaptations is one of my favorite Big Finish ranges. Its the only series in my opinion that does the partnership of Seven/Benny (and occasionally Ace) true justice. Nothing at all like the mess that is The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. But did Theatre of War continue the trend started in Love and War, The Highest Science and most recently, Damaged Goods or did it fall flat like a bad b-movie play?

"Years ago, an archaeological expedition came to Menaxus to explore the ruins of an ancient theatre. All but one of the team died. Now the only survivor has returned, determined to uncover the theatre’s secrets.

But then the deaths begin again. The Doctor, Ace and Benny find themselves caught up in the very real events of Shakespeare’s greatest play. When they finally reach the theatre on Menaxus, the Doctor begins to realize that the truth about the planet may be far stranger than anyone imagined. With Benny doing research at the Braxiatel Collection, the Doctor and Ace head straight into an interplanetary war…" Based on the original 1994 New Adventures novel by Justin Richards.

Theatre of War proved to be thoroughly entertaining. As I haven't really read the novels, most of the goodies inside the story surprised me and made me enjoy it even more. The inclusion and eventual meeting of The Doctor and his brother Irving Braxiatiel, not to mention Benny's first meeting with her future employer sounded so good.

Theatre of War manages to juggle a lot of subplots and connect them seamlessly to create a rather intricate and often times confusing narrative that gives all of our main characters something relevant to do. Its also one of those stories you need to listen to more than once in order to grasp it in its entirety, but that somehow feels welcome considering which Doctor we're listening to. 

Sylvester McCoy, Lisa Bowerman and Solphie Aldred sound marvelous together. They are definitely one of my favorite TARDIS teams (when they are in the Novel adaptations at least). There is nothing more to say here than these three need to have monthly range trilogies like all the other Doctors. One or two stories a year is too few and not nowhere near enough to vanquish this hungry I have to listen to these three.

I quite like the plot. Its nothing too special. Robots, mysteries, intergalactic wars, but the pacing, not to mention the dialogue really helps sell this story. It's just one of those stories that you can listen to in whatever mood and enjoy it.

The musical score isn't really noteworthy, though the sound effects help bring it to life. The guest cast are worth mentioning though. Some of them may fall into stereotypes, but most of them are really likable. Kirsty Bestermans' Lannic deserves a special mention.

Rating this story: 8/10. We need more novel adaptations Big Finish! More!!!!

Doctor Who: Theatre of War is available on Big Finish's website HERE.
Note: If you liked this review, please like and share it. If you’re interested in getting into Big Finish or want suggestions on which stories are great, check out my ranking of them HERE

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