Review – Big Finish Doctor Who #164 “Gods and Monsters”

Gods and Monsters is the last in the latest 7th Doctor Trilogy.  The trilogy is made up of Protect and Survive, Black and White, and Gods and Monsters.  In my opinion this is the best of the 3 story arcs that Big Finish has been doing for the past few years.  It brings to a head all the plans the 7th Doctor has been working on for quite a while.

The Doctor plays a game of chess with an old adversary, and this time the Doctor may not be in charge, or is he?

From Big Finish’s site:

The TARDIS travellers arrive in a bizarre landscape seemingly immune to the physical laws governing the rest of the universe. Ace, Hex, Sally and Lysandra battle to rescue the Doctor from the trap he’s walked into… soon realising that the odds are stacked against them.

Because the Doctor is playing an old adversary again: Fenric, shatterer of worlds. But the gods and monsters who inhabit this strange realm loaded the dice against them long ago, in the dim and distant past – and defeat’s their only option.

Written By: Mike Maddox and Alan Barnes
Directed By: Ken Bentley


Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)

Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Philip Olivier (Hex)

Maggie O’Neill (Captain Lysandra Aristedes)

Amy Pemberton (Private Sally Morgan)

John Standing (Fenric)

Blake Ritson (Hurmzid)

Gus Brown (Weyland)

Tim Treloar (The Ancient One)

***** Minor Spoilers Ahead *****

This story was far from a Doctor Light story as the past 2 were.  Also of note this, like the previous 2 in this trilogy, is by no means a standalone story it is most certainly for the diehard long term fans.  And that is exactly what I am.  As a fanboy I like being pandered to especially when it’s done so extremely well as Gods and Monsters.  This is the kind of story only a true fan could come up with, to tie so many story lines together and wrap them up with such a nice bow.

The Doctor must play Fenric at chess once again, using Ace, Hex, Lysandra, and Sally as his pawns.  At the end of Black and White the Doctor’s companions found Weyland’s shield.  When they placed it on the White TARDIS’ console it programmed the TARDIS with time and space coordinates.  To reach these coordinates the White TARDIS had to absorb and burn up the Black TARDIS.  In doing so the TARDIS was returned to its original Blue coloring.

The TARDIS arrives in Fenric’s domain, a flat planet that he is using as his chess board at the beginning of the Universe.  This story is incredibly densely packed with action, story threads, Haemovores, Elder Gods, and Fenric’s chess motif.  Jumping between different time zones, and multiple story threads Ace is shown her past, and Sally and Lysandra are shown their futures.  The Doctor discovers that he is not the Black King, but only a Black Pawn.  So who is actually playing against Fenric?We also get to find out the mystery that has been surrounding Hex for all these years.

I think this is the best trilogy Big Finish has done so far, and I look forward to them trying to top this one.

Also much like a Marvel movie, remember to hang around after the credits for a nice little bonus scene.

The only downside to this entire Black TARDIS/White TARDIS story line is that Big Finish has not really told any of the Black TARDIS tales but the initial stories where we meet Lysandra and Sally.  They have released one Doctor Who Companion Chronicle Project: Nirvana which deals with one of the missions the Doctor sends Lysandra and Sally on.  I hope they release more.

Gus Brown, John Standing, and Sylvester McCoy

Blake Ritson, Sylvester McCoy, and Tim Treloar