Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: Novel Adaptations 5: The Well-Mannered War

DWNA005_thewellmanneredwar_1417Arriving at the end of Time, the Doctor and Romana find themselves on opposing sides of a conflict as K9 runs for office…

Gareth Roberts’ final contribution to the Virgin Missing Adventures range was an oddity at the time, and remains one to an extent in this enjoyable audio version, finishing with a cliffhanger that suggests everything which followed the Graham Williams era never really happened.

John Dorney has done an excellent job paring Roberts’ prose back, keeping a lot of the distinctive dialogue (particularly the highly satirical parts) while ensuring that it doesn’t ever get an audiobook feel. Peter Doggart’s sound design and music firmly place us in the right period of Doctor Who history, and director Ken Bentley has assembled a terrific cast, with two members of the Troughton dynasty, Jon Glover and Tim McInnerny all helping to power the story along.

Inevitably there’s a certain resemblance to the final Key to Time story, The Armageddon Factor, both in the set up of two armies caught in a long conflict, and the presence of outside forces controlling events. Roberts takes a very different approach to Bob Baker and Dave Martin, though, with considerably more humour and considerably less padding!

Verdict: A enjoyable novel with some serious points at its heart receives an audio treatment that retains all its best points. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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