In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: Subterfuge

It’s sheer joy listening to great actors having fun with larger than life character parts.

Synopsis: London, 1945. Winston Churchill campaigns for re-election. His new strategic adviser assures him that Britain has a bright future under his continued leadership. It’s a vote he can’t possibly lose. But the Doctor knows that he must.

The Monk is meddling, altering history for his own selfish ends. With spies and aliens in the mix, Winston realizes victory may not be so simple. At least he can trust his old friend… can’t he?

Review: Doctor Who: Subterfuge by Helen Goldwyn is a welcome distraction in these troubled times. She gives listeners a combination we hadn’t known we wanted — The Seventh Doctor, Winston Churchill, and The Meddling Monk.

Story

Goldwyn knows that the best tales aren’t about the plot. Indeed, with a historical story thread involving post-war Churchill, narrative inertia can ultimately only flow in one direction, even with otherworldly intervention. She accepts the inevitability of the outcome, and crafts a story about the people who have lived through history.

I really appreciate the world-building that Goldwyn does, incorporating the unexploded bombs, and allowing a female MI-5 agent to demonstrate knowledge of explosives. She obviously wanted to get maximum use out of the WWII research she did for ATA Girl 1 and 2.

I also really like how Goldwyn parallels post-war politics in the UK with the contemporary situation. She gets the points across without hitting the audience over the head.

Finally, I applaud Goldwyn for leaving The Doctor and Churchill where she does. Choices, necessary as some may be, have consequences.

Acting

Sylvester McCoy is in excellent form throughout. However, the story is ultimately a showcase for returning guest actors Ian McNeice and Rufus Hound. It’s sheer joy listening to great actors having fun with larger than life character parts.

Overall

As I’ve written before, I have a soft spot for Doctor Who historical stories. Doctor Who: Subterfuge is yet another treat, courtesy of the franchise that gave us Spitfires in space.

9.5
Big Finish: Doctor Who: Subterfuge
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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