Doctor Who: The Enigma Dimension by Nicholas Briggs (Big Finish, 2017) John Hurt and Jacqueline Pearce in a story with big ideas. What can go wrong? Answer: the Daleks—Doctor Who’s greatest folly—gone inexplicably viral. Fine acting notwithstanding, the Time War boils down to yet another tiresome harangue by demented pepper pots.
Doctor Who: The Lady of Obsidian by Andrew Smith (Big Finish, 2017) Leela’s return—pairing Louise Jameson with John Hurt—is a highlight of the Time War, both nostalgically and for the manner in which Andrew Smith brings her back. Unfortunately, there’s too much else going on. The story rattles helter-skelter around the moment.
Doctor Who: Pretty Lies by Guy Adams (Big Finish, 2017) As gratifying as it is to hear John Hurt as the War Doctor, this audio drama—inevitably?—portrays him as doing his humane best in an impossible situation; ergo, as no more callous or culpable than any other of the Doctor’s incarnations.
Doctor Who: Engines of War by George Mann (BBC Books, 2014) This readable (if unproofread), epically themed yet superficial bridging novel evokes something of the classic series four-parters. For all the promise the Time War offers, John Hurt’s so-called War Doctor for the most part could (and should) have been Paul McGann’s Eighth.