Review – Big Finish Doctor Who #163: “Black and White”

This is the next in the most recent 7th Doctor Trilogy.  Black and White finally goes into why we have been having references to the TARDIS being White in some stories, and Black in others.  As mentioned in my review of Protect and Survive, Black and White deals with threads that have been laid down by Big Finish for years.  Writer Matt Fitton does a great job of explaining who everyone is and why they are all there, but it is much easier to follow along if you are current with Big Finish’s Doctor Who Monthly range.

From Big Finish’s website:

The TARDIS arrives in the land of the Danes, where a young warrior seeks to rid the kingdom of Hrothgar from a cruel and terrifying demon. The brave young warrior is Beowulf; the monster is Grendel… or so his name will one day be written. But what’s written down in black and white is sometimes very far from the truth – as the Doctor knows, and his companions are about to discover.

Written By: Matt Fitton
Directed By: Ken Bentley


Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)

Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Philip Olivier (Hex)

Maggie O’Neill (Lysandra Aristedes)

Amy Pemberton (Sally Morgan)

Stuart Milligan(Garundel)

Michael Rouse (Young Beowulf)

Richard Bremmer (Old Beowulf)

John Banks (Weohstan)

James Hayward (Wiglaf)

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

This was another Doctor light story.  Black and White picks up right at the end of Protect and Survive.   Ace and Hex escaped from the prison that the Doctor had created for Peggy and Albert.  The exit to the prison summoned the Doctor’s TARDIS.  The problem, the TARDIS that dropped Ace and Hex off was the White one, but the TARDIS that arrives to pick them up is Black.  The Black TARDIS is crewed by Captain Lysandra Aristades and Private Sally Morgan, previously of the Forge.  Ace and Hex had met Captain Aristades back in #139 Project: Destiny.

The audience was introduced to Private Sally Morgan in #152 House of Blue Fire.  The Doctor is nowhere to be found in the Black TARDIS.  Apparently Lysandra and Sally have been running missions in the Black TARDIS with the Doctor.  He has been using them as an armed taskforce and going after the Elder Gods.  The Doctor has been running 2 TARDIS crews concurrently, When Ace and Hex in the White TARDIS would go to sleep he would sneak out and run missions with Lysandra and Sally in the Black TARDIS and vice versa.  So once the TARDIS crews have come to grips with this realization, and that neither of them seems to know where the Doctor currently is.  They find the Doctor’s copy of Beowulf and decide that they will look for him in the time and lands of the Danes.

The story of Ace, Hex, Lysandra, and Sally becomes intertwined with the story of Beowulf.  They discover that Grendel is really a scam by an alien named Garundel.

Black and White has some great flashback scenes with the Doctor nurturing and training the infant Black TARDIS to get it ready for his Elder God hunting missions.

This was a wonderful story and sets up beautifully for the next in this trilogy.  I can’t wait to hear Gods and Monsters.

Philip Olivier and Sophie Aldred

Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy