Monday, 20 March 2017
Full review on Starburst.
In October 2015, Big Finish began an epic story set in the later days of the Eighth Doctor’s life. Almost a year and a half later, Doom Coalition 4 has completed that story, which now spans sixteen episodes across four box sets. The Doctor and his companions Liv and Helen have uncovered a great conspiracy among the ranks of the Time Lords, which threatens the entire universe...
Doom Coalition 4 doesn’t resolve the previous instalment's cliffhanger immediately, but spends an entire episode, Ship in a Bottle, following the three leads trapped in a time capsule. It’s a stripped-down episode – you could say a ‘bottle’ episode – with just the three characters, allowing writer John Dorney to create an intimate character study.
Next up is Songs of Love, a Doctor-lite episode in which River Song finds herself on Gallifrey, amongst the conspirators. It’s heavy on the exposition, having to put a lot of pieces in place for the finale, and on Gallifreyan politics.
The Side of the Angels takes us to 1970s New York, where the Doctor discovers another group of Time Lords with their own plan to counter the universe’s destruction. Matt Fitton’s script brings many disparate elements together into an entertaining adventure; it’s the most like a traditional Doctor Who episode of the bunch. And Rufus Hound is great as the Monk.
Finally, there’s Stop the Clock. In order not to spoil the surprises, I won’t say much about this, other than that it feels like a properly epic finale.
All in all, Doom Coalition 4 is a great success for Big Finish, as is Doom Coalition as a whole – an epic story told across sixteen episodes, with each episode contributing to the arc while standing out on its own.
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