Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious – Mutually Assured Destruction Review

So here we are, the sort-of last stop for the Time Lord Victorious strand. Admittedly there is another audio story that was delayed due to a certain pandemic that’s still to come, but for the most part this is very much an end point for the story. So how does it all end, at least for the Eighth Doctor? Let’s find out!

Synopsis:

The fallout of the great battle.

Outnumbered and alone, on a Dalek time-ship careering through the vortex, the Doctor must use all his cunning to survive. As the saucer disintegrates around them, the Doctor is trapped with a crew of increasingly desperate Daleks.

Or are the Daleks trapped with him?

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

The story has been described as “Die Hard with Daleks”, and I suppose that’s quite an apt description. The Doctor wakes up trapped on a Dalek saucer that’s slowly breaking up in the time vortex after his actions in “All Flesh is Grass”. He needs to get back to his TARDIS, but it’s been taken to the bridge, so The Doctor has to climb through vents and take out individual Daleks to reach his goal. As our titular Time Lord starts doing this there is a breakdown in communication between the more unique Daleks we’ve been following throughout this storyline, specifically the Dalek Strategist and his so-called Commander, and the Dalek Executioner ignoring protocol in order to mercilessly kill any non-Dalek life.

There is a fun scene a few moments in where the Dalek Scientist has to shut down all his non-essential power to keep the ship going, and that includes anti-gravity, so he’s left floating. The Doctor soon arrives and acts like a kid experiencing swimming for the first time, complete with “woo’s” and “weee’s”. He dances with the Dalek Scientist by jumping on its back and spinning it around, before leaving. It was great hearing Paul McGann play a bit more of a silly version of his Doctor again. Anyway, soon two prisoners are accidentally released, Tiska and Groth (Sam Béart and Wilf Scolding) who are the last of their race, the Entraxians (or was it the Wraxians… can’t remember now). The Doctor befriends them, even if one is a very clinical scientist and the other an elitist gun-nut, though soon the latter, Groth, is killed by the Executioner while The Doctor and Tiska hide so I guess that bit isn’t really relevant for long! During this The Doctor finds out that Tiska’s people were really into eugenics and so somewhat regrets having to keep her safe, but also sees this as an opportunity to end their race on a high note by changing her ways.

Eventually The Doctor meets back up with the Dalek Strategist, who wishes to bargain the use of the Doctor’s TARDIS in order to escape. As he leads his foe to the Commander’s bridge, The Doctor merely plays the recording of the Strategists betrayal, watches as the two Daleks destroy each other, detonate a device he left on the Dalek Scientist to completely finish the saucer, and then brings Tiska on board the TARDIS and escapes as the ship disintegrates. He says he’s going to drop Tiska off on a world without Daleks and hopes she lives a more worthwhile life…

The Bad:

In my head The Doctor was a bit more arsed about being on an exploding spaceship…

Not much, but not in a “it was an amazing flawless story” way, but more that it was entertaining and served its purpose, but it wasn’t exactly ground breaking. It didn’t do anything wrong in the genre it picked, let’s put it that way.

The Continuity:

Obviously, again, all the continuity is Time Lord Victorious based. The story follows directly on from the Eighth Doctor’s last scene in the book “All Flesh is Grass”, and he survives the initial explosion on the ship thanks to his Atharnan heat shield from “He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not”. The Daleks mention wiping out the Entraxians (seen in All Flesh is Grass) and the Wraxians (from “The Enemy of my Enemy”) during the course of the story, the latter being news to The Doctor (though not surprising news, admittedly) A lone Dalek drone survives the Time Ship explosion at the end of this story and appears in the Fourth Doctor entry into the TLV arc “Genetics of the Daleks”.

Overall Thoughts:

Mutually Assured Destruction is a fun hours listening, even if it isn’t deeply plotted or moving… mostly because it clearly was never meant to be. The Doctor slowly takes out his enemy by force and out-smarting them, and then escapes. Simple, but a fun hour nonetheless, and a nice heroic end to the Eighth Doctor’s role in the Time Lord Victorious story arc.

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