Doctor Who: The Sword of the Chevalier Review

The Sword of the C

So we had an “present day Earth” invasion story, so what’s up next? Well, it a story where the Doctor meets an historical figure and gets into alien-based hijinx, obviously! Big Finish continue to nail the feel of Russell T. Davies era Who, and create a good story to boot! Let’s have a look!

Official Synopsis:

1791 and the Doctor and Rose get to meet one of the most enigmatic, thrilling and important people in history: The Chevalier d’Eon. She used to be known as a spy, but then she used to be known as a lot of things. If there’s one thing the Doctor knows it’s that identity is what you make it. Choose a life for yourself and be proud. Mind you, if the Consortium of the Obsidian Asp get their way, all lives may soon be over…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

The Doctor (David Tennant) – The Doctor is feeling like his old self for the first time since the first two-thirds of his eighth life, which is a weird sentence… but anyway, he’s enjoying travelling with Rose across time and space…

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) – Rose is having the time of her life, every day. The whole universe and all of time her holiday pamphlet, and the Doctor her guide.

Chevalier D’Eon (Nickolas Grace)A real historical figure, no one was ever sure even what gender D’Eon was, let alone anything else. What was for sure though was his/her ability with the sword and abilities as a spy.

Joxer and Hampel (Mark Elstob and Lucy Briggs-Owen)Two thirds of a tri-sentient being, the third being dead, Joxer and Hampel have been feasting on the blood of innocents for sometime, trying to hide the loneliness they feel due to being attatched to a corpse, I guess… Either way, they now set their sights on Earth, in the 18th Century…

Plus many more!

The Good:

The Sword of the C Cover

A great cover, with good realisations of the lead villain and guest character.

Once again The Doctor and Rose feel like The Doctor and Rose from Series 2, right down to the dialogue. The setting as well feels just like the similar 9th/10th Doctor stories surrounding a single historical figure that aired years ago, though I’ll admit I didn’t have any knowledge of the Chevalier before this (but do now! It’s an interesting read, actually…)

In fact the Chevalier D’Eon is the standout of this story. She (let’s just go with that for simplicity) starts off arrogant and unpleasant, but you warm to her as the story goes on… a bit. But hey, not everyone has to be a nice loving person, makes sense to me she’d be like that, reading up on her.

The lead villain of the piece is also a classic RTD baddie in that he acts like a pantomime villain but his actual story and appearance (in your head, in this case) is quite horrific if you stop and think. The idea of these two beings sharing a body with a corpse due to one third of their collective self being dead is unsettling, to say the least. They’re also slavers, which at least gave The Doctor a good line about the Chevalier being appalled that someone would take British people as slaves, despite… well, you know.

I’m not sure how to class the ending. It was very of its time, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. Basically after a fight between the combined being and the Chevalier, The Doctor saves the day by getting it to scan him, as they had a strict rule that they take orders without question from life forms higher up the chain than themselves. So of course, The Doctor gets to play his “last of the Time Lords” card (which he can’t anymore!) and the villains just… return everyone back to Earth and leave. It’s both a satisfyingly true-to-the-era ending, but also not a very satisfying ending…

The Bad:

Very little, though admittedly a good chunk of the 45-minute story involves The Doctor sword fighting, whether be against or by the side of the Chevalier, which is a bit much in an audio… Not a major deal, but there you go.

The Continuity:

10DA S2 Cover

Just realised how this story doesn’t feature on the overall box set cover at all… ah well.

Not a lot here, to be honest. If I think or hear of anything as we get further from release day I’ll update it, but otherwise, none.

Overall Thoughts:

A fun pseudo-historical story featuring a non-obvious real world person. Plus more great 10th Doctor / Rose interaction, and a fun villain concept. It’s not perfect, but it does, once again, fit nicely into the era.

4 Star Listen

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