Big Finish, Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War, Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Big Finish, Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War, Review

Big Finish's celebration of the "Doctor Who" 60th anniversary continues with "Once and Future: A Genius for War," which orchestrates a gripping face-off between the Seventh Doctor and the infamous Davros. This time, the narrative dances with the question: will the battle be a sweet victory, or will the aftermath resemble a battlefield strewn with unlimited rice pudding?

In this third episode of the "Once and Future" narrative, we encounter the Doctor in his seventh form, snatched from his timeline by the Time Lords and thrust into the throes of the Time War. The stage is set on a space station, once a site of trial, now repurposed as a launching ground for the relentless conflict against the Daleks.

The story takes a twist as the Time Lords ponder a precarious offer from an unexpected quarter. Davros, the mastermind behind the Daleks, finds himself a prisoner of his own monstrous creations. From the confinements of Skaro’s prison moon, Falkus, he extends a plea for freedom and specifically demands his old adversary, the Doctor, to be his liberator.

There is, as expected, a thick layer of skepticism from the Doctor regarding the authenticity of Davros's intentions. Nonetheless, the narrative propels forward with the Doctor accompanied by the Time Lord General (voiced by Ken Bones) and Veklin (voiced by Beth Chalmers).

The scale of 'A Genius for War' is monumental, expanding the "Once and Future" arc into the vastness of the Time War. The Doctor, maintaining his form amidst the threat of degeneration—a plot device that could indeed use a more dramatic deployment within the story—manages to utilize his condition strategically as the tale reaches its climax.

Writer Jonathan Morris skillfully weaves together an array of elements drawn from "Doctor Who's" rich tapestry, marrying the classic and modern mythos of the series. This mix is highlighted by dialogues that are reminiscent of iconic lines, notably the General's spin on the infamous line from "Genesis of the Daleks," paying homage to the show’s storied past.

Sylvester McCoy brings a spirited performance as the Seventh Doctor, navigating the plot without a traditional companion. Veklin steps up to the plate, seamlessly fitting into the role of the Doctor's temporary ally. Terry Molloy's portrayal of Davros is as chilling and complex as ever. The character starts as a chained strategist but reveals layers upon layers of machinations, which Molloy delivers with captivating finesse. The pairing of this Doctor and Davros is especially satisfying for fans, considering their relatively brief interaction in the televised episode "Remembrance of the Daleks."

"A Genius for War" stands out within the "Once and Future" series. Although it appears to be a detour from the central narrative, it is a detour that enriches the landscape with its own merit. The episode leaves Davros in a particularly intriguing predicament, one that avid listeners would eagerly anticipate being explored in future adventures.

To sum up, "A Genius for War" is a powerhouse of an episode that not only revisits the classic confrontations of "Doctor Who" but also contributes a new layer to the ever-evolving legacy of the series. It serves as a potent reminder of the franchise's ability to blend the old with the new, creating a saga that continuously fascinates and invites listeners to embark on journeys across time and space with the Doctor.

Doctor Who: Once and Future: A Genius for War, is available to purchase from the Big Finish website.

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