During the various mentions of the Time War in the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who, there were assorted throwaway references to events and places, and I must admit that I thought that the Neverwhen was one of those. It isn’t, as far as I can tell, but the name fits in perfectly with the sort of lunacies that were being perpetuated during the carnage.
Matt Fitton brings this excellent second box set of War Doctor stories to a close with this report from the frontlines of a never-ending war between Time Lords and Daleks, all of whom, at any point, can be mutated to different parts of their own evolutionary history – leading to conflicts that can best be described in H.G. Wells’ famous line about “bows and arrows against the lightning” in The War of the Worlds… As is clearly standard operating procedure for these sets, Fitton’s tale is predicated on various twists, some of which could only be tried in stories with this Doctor, while there are some neatly-done shout-outs to previous stories, including Genesis of the Daleks.
The physical conflict between Time Lords and Daleks is matched by the battle of wits between Ollistra and the Doctor – and in this story perhaps more than some, he merits that title, trying his best to find a solution even when everything is conspiring against him. His eventual answer is pragmatic yet merciful – the hardness that Ollistra senses at his core is there, even if not to the extent that she wants and he believes it to be.
Throughout, this box set has been produced to a high standard – the incidental music, soundscapes and directorial choices in particular – and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting the third set to come very quickly!
Verdict: With a horrific idea at its core, this finishes the set in suitably epic style. 9/10