According to the Big Finish Solicit:
“The future is dying. All over the universe, gaps are beginning to appear. From the space lanes terrorised by the rag-tag remnants of the once-mighty Rocket Men, to the empire of the Gorlans, stricken by a terrible civil war. Gaps in space/time, portents of the end of everything.
Only three beings might prevent it. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. The Master, another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And another Master, yet another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey.
One Doctor. Two Masters. What could possibly go wrong?”
I cannot think of a way to describe how excited I was going into this story… if you’ll recall back at the beginning of 2016 I had a decision to make… I knew I was going to subscribe to a Big Finish Range but I wasn’t sure if I would continue with the Main Range or if I’d switch over to The 4th Doctor Range. Then the news of this set of stories was announced culminating with “The Two Masters” Wait… did I read that right? In that moment I decided rather than shift my big finish sub to another range I plunked down my subscription money without a single glance backwards and 6 months in I have to say I have not been disappointed with my decision in the least! Rembrandt, Creepy Robo Butler in a time loop, one of the best straight historicals I’ve heard, and the MASTER! Both of HIM!
But this month’s story had a lot to live up to. Ever since we were given the treat that is Alex Macqueen, as a new Big Finish regeneration of The Master, people have wanted a Multi Master Story because… we’ve never had one before. Of course the Doctor has run into himself on many occasions but we’ve never seen the Master enlist the aid of himself. Then you throw Macqueen with Geoffrey Beevers and you have two VERY different iterations of The Master. Put these incredible actors together let them simmer for a while and enjoy the feast to come!
It was as good as you’d expect.
Each individual story in this trilogy did a very nice job of being stand alone but building towards something else… little did we know but hidden within the trilogy was a clever sleight of hand that was also hiding something in plain sight which we of course needed the Doctor in order to truly unravel it for us. Oh what a glorious revelation it is too!
Alright without spoiling too much here is just a Few of my Favorite Things From This Month’s Release:
- The Master and the Master: I didn’t know I could be further impressed by these two actors… and then they blow my mind. They play their characters well, and they play off of each other well and THEN there’s a twist that… as I already stated…. blew my mind.
- The Doctor: I think the only thing I love as much as this being a multi Master story is that the lone Doctor who is left to deal with them… is Seven. Like the Second Doctor, Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor relies much on his opponent’s predilection towards underestimating him to their own peril. He really plays well to this kind of threat. I think they made the right choice ending this story with him both from a chronology standpoint and from the potential for a climactic standoff.
- The Rocket Men: I didn’t know I was getting Rocket Men in my multi master story… well of course you were it’s right there in the solicit… Solicit? I didn’t NEED a solicit! It said “The Two Masters!” So when they made their entrance it was a cool bonus that they were there and it tied in so well.
I loved this story. I gave you a fairly short list of favorites this month because really?… if I don’t stop there I’ll just list everything until I spoil the fun. This story is everything you would expect from a multi master story… a grand plan, time gone wonky because you should never interact with your own past and future, the Master/Doctor tension dialed up a notch, and banter! Oh the banter!
I often talk about how my favorite Big Finishes are good for a re-listen? This one I immediately re-listened to. The only other one I’ve done that with was the Big Finish 50th Anniversary Special. That’s the level of fun I had. Five Stars (one set of five stars for the master of the past and another set of five stars for the master of the present… making a 5 star paradox that could unravel all of time and space).
In the past a Multi Master story was impossible because we only ever had about one living master at a time and they just didn’t think about it…. But now we have 3-5 masters that Big Finish could potentially play with if not 6. (okay the boy that played the young master might be a stretch as is Eric Roberts… but I’m including them in the count ‘cuz why not). If they were to do a Future Multi Master story…. Who would you like to see? Simms and Macqueen? Jacobi and Beevers? Roberts and Macqueen? More than 2? Let me know in the comments below or by shooting us a message to letters(at)grawlixpodcast.com.