Monday, November 25, 2013

REVIEW: Destiny of the Doctor - The Time Machine

The Time Machine
by Matt Fitton 

Out Now


The Time Machine is the eleventh and final chapter of the Destiny of The Doctor series produced by AudioGo and Big Finish, and features Matt Smith’s Doctor.

23 November, 2013. In an Oxford laboratory, graduate Alice Watson helps Professor Chivers assemble the final pieces of a time machine. How is this possible and what are the ramifications? The monstrous Creevix are coming. They seek control of time itself and are certain that the Doctor is already too late to stop them. But can the key to saving the future lie in the Time Lord’s past lives?

The Time Machine marks the last outing in the Destiny of The Doctor series and is penned by current Big Finish go-to-guy, and fellow Oxfordian, Matt Fitton. Fitton has chosen his hometown as the location of this final chapter and as a past resident of the University locale, it was lovely to name check many of the beautiful sites from my childhood.

The main question to which we want the answer is: does it tie everything together? The basic answer is: yes! The Destiny of the Doctor series has been an interesting one, not always consistent but certainly noteworthy. The Time Machine is one of the strongest stories and has the seemingly impossible task of tying together the loose story strands of the previous ten instalments. Without wanting to spoil anything surely there couldn’t be a better way to do this than through a Matt Smith monologue, which is handled excellently. Fitton has done a great job once more and has expertly found the style and nuance of Smith’s Doctor and era.

There are some fantastic familiar faces, or should I say voices on hand here also, the piece is narrated by Jenna Coleman, although the character of Clara doesn’t actually feature. Coleman doesn’t appear to be a veteran of the audio format, but does a decent job. Michael Cochrane (Black Orchid and Survival) co-stars as Professor Chivers and gives a laudable performance and the vocal stylings of monster-voice-extrodinaire Nick Briggs as the creepy Creevix are also a welcome addition.

The story is all told from the point of view of one-off companion Alice Watson (who receives both C S Lewis and Arthur Conan Doyle name references), this works particularly well, as we get to see the strange Doctor through the eyes of a relatable and relatively normal character. I love the meta-textual device that Chivers receives instructions to build the time machine from his future self, in the exact way that the previous Doctors have throughout the series. The narrative is ultimately Moffat-esque in it’s paradoxical nature and has a beautiful ending which feels very appropriate to the 50th anniversary and the whole series.  

The remit of the Destiny of the Doctor range was to give new and already existing fans a representative taste of each different Doctor’s tenure. This wasn’t achieved with every story but, for the most part, it has been a successful venture and this success is certainly prevalent in The Time Machine

BLOGTOR RATING 9/10
Thanks to Big Finish


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