The middle part of this Master trilogy featuring the 80s Doctors sees Colin Baker having a great deal of fun showing a slightly different side to his incarnation of the Time Lord, one that we’ve not really seen since the time of the late great Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe. Kate Kennedy’s Heather Treadstone is a one-story companion (although I really hope that we’ll hear her again), who is quite happy to go toe-to-toe with the Doctor when needed, particularly given her family history with him.
There was lots of speculation about how Baker’s Doctor could meet Alex Macqueen’s Master without screwing up the events of UNIT Dominion, but Justin Richards’ script provides a logical reason for what you know has to happen. It’s quite similar to that used in Tim Lebbon’s interstitial Alien story, just released on audio, by an unfortunate coincidence of timing, but nonetheless effective.
Macqueen also seems to be having fun – the scenes between him and Baker bring back memories of the best confrontations between Pertwee’s Doctor and Roger Delgado’s Master, and with each appearance, he’s making this incarnation distinct. There are various elements unexplained but I’m sure that next month’s The Two Masters will deal with those!
Jamie Anderson brings a cinematic flair to the direction and production once again – it’s fast becoming the hallmark of his work for Big Finish – as well as some new actors to the series, alongside some stalwarts.
Verdict: An intriguing tale that works well. 8/10