Daughter of the Gods was pitched as a what if “5th Anniversary Story”, a classic multi-Doctor story but with, at that point, the only two Doctors. What ended up happening instead is a weird opportunity to explore the character of Katarina a bit more, a companion who barely lasted a handful of episodes, all of which are missing (and yet to be animated!) Either way I really enjoyed it, so that’s all that matters in the end! Let’s take a deeper look at it…
When Zoe reattaches an old piece of equipment to the TARDIS console, she, Jamie and the Doctor are very lucky to avoid a collision.
But the place they find themselves in may be even more dangerous – because there they encounter another Doctor, a space pilot named Steven…and a young woman called Katarina who really shouldn’t be there….
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
The general idea of having the First and Second Doctors play off each other, Two Doctors style was a great one in of itself, but the inclusion of Katarina and the Daleks’ Master Plan stuff somehow made it better still. Zoe accidentally causes the TARDIS to hit into the original Doctor’s time machine, knocking it off course from Kembel (a.k.a. the events of Master Plan) and therefore creates an alternate time line where The Doctor, Steven and Katarina live on another planet while the TARDIS is repaired, and The Daleks successfully develop the Time Destructor. It’s a fun idea, and the use of Katarina is good, she believes she’s dead and that this is some sort of purgatory between life and the afterlife, which makes sense given she was originally from Troy and she hasn’t really been travelling with The Doctor and Steven at all in this timeline (plus is matches up with what little dialogue she had in her other appearance…)
The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are all used well here, which is good given its technically their story, even if Part 2 is all from the perspective of the First Doctor crew. The Second Doctor struggles with meeting Katarina, knowing he has to set time back on course at the expense of her life, meanwhile Jamie, who has a very similar origin to Katarina (just a bit further in time and a bit further away), gets to know her and want to protect her. Zoe gets to act clever, I especially like a scene where The First Doctor talks about certain calculations taking too long, only to get surprised and annoyed that Zoe figured it out already (at this point not knowing she’s a future companion of his). The two Doctors do the old squabbling to start with, but then they really play off each other well when The Second Doctor knows his original self is fighting against the idea of restoring a timeline he doesn’t know in order to spare Katarina, but knowing deep down that his past self would still do what’s right.
Tell me that cover doesn’t make you excited, and I’ll tell you… you’re probably not into Doctor Who as much as I am.
In the end The Daleks have Time Destructor’d a planet and soon arrive on the one the Doctors are currently, so we have some struggling guards getting off’d by Daleks and big showdown with the pepper pots before The Second Doctor and his crew get back to their TARDIS and set history right again.
Full of fun interactions, weird character development for Katarina of all people, and a decent, if not a little generic Dalek plot as an undercurrent, I really enjoyed this story. It just flew by, a smile on my face the whole time.
As mentioned, the actual Dalek subplot and the residents of the planet were pretty basic, stock characters and generic Dalek conquering tactics respectively, but the main show was the two early eras colliding, and that was done perfectly.
The First Doctor and crew are directly in between TV stories “The Myth Makers” and “The Daleks’ Master Plan”. No actual gap is possible here, which is why they went the route of “alternate timeline that gets put right” in order to do the story.
I don’t know why this year has been “Daleks’ Master Plan year” at Big Finish, with a whole Fourth Doctor season devoted as a sequel, and Katarina’s corpse playing a role in the Eighth Doctor audio “Companion Piece”, but here we are again!
There are a few other mentions of past stories, but as per usual they’re literal one-line bits, nothing worth mentioning.
Daughter of the Gods is a great multi-Doctor story, a great exploration of Katarina as a character (and a glimpse of what she could have been like as an actual lasting companion) and an average Dalek story. The first two easily top the latter, so much so I’m willing to give it a rare 5 out of 5.