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Forge File – Thomas Hector Schofield
Hex discovers the truth about his mother!
At the end of ‘The Angel of Scutari’, Hex gets shot and wounded. The Doctor and Ace take Hex with them into the TARDIS and make for St Gart’s Hospital in the 21st century. Fortunately the Doctor saves Hex from his wound. Whilst Hex recovers, this adventure sheds a new light for him.
‘Project: Destiny’ is an exciting and thrilling ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure that I’ve enjoyed with the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex in it. It is also the third story of an arc featuring the Forge and Nimrod. It is a turning point for this particular TARDIS team as secrets and family truths get told.
This is a four-part story by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, who originated these Forge stories. The Forge and Nimrod first appeared in the stories ‘Project: Twilight’ and ‘Project: Lazarus’. I enjoyed listening to those two stories and did wonder how this third story would build on them.
It starts with the Doctor and Ace returning a wounded Hex back to St. Gart’s Hospital in the year 2026. St. Gart’s Hospital is where the Doctor and Ace first met Hex in ‘The Harvest’ and where they fought against the Cybermen. There are some nice references from that story found in this.
Whilst saving Hex, the Doctor and Ace find that Shoreditch, London is deserted and wonder why. They soon find the place is quarantined by soldiers working for the Forge and meet up with Nimrod. They sort out a menace in London while the Doctor struggles to keep a secret from Hex.
The Forge stories are interconnected and affect Hex’s relationship with the Doctor. I really liked how this story develops Hex’s character and reveals his family origins. Hex knows about the Forge already, since he’d encountered them (sort of) during ‘Casualties of War’ from ‘Forty-Five’.
Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor is brilliant. I liked how Sylvester’s Doctor desperately saves Hex’s life and is very fond of him. I liked the Doctor’s scenes with Nimrod and how he struggles to keep secrets from Hex. He’s afraid of Hex knowing what happened to his mother when she died.
Just to be clear. The events of ‘Project: Destiny’ take place before the Seventh Doctor half of ‘Project: Lazarus’. Therefore the events in Dartmoor where the Seventh Doctor are involved haven’t happened. Yet for the Forge and Nimrod, they have. Wibbly-wobbly; timey-wimey, hey?
Sophie Aldred is ace as Ace in this! She’s not central to this story, but she has some really good scenes in dealing with the alien menace attacking London and working with Forge members like Captain Aristedes. Ace clearly doesn’t like the Forge’s methods and objects to their ruthlessness.
Philip Olivier as Hex is the star of the story for me. Philip delivers a brilliant performance as Hex, bringing across so many layers to his character from being happy to sad; from being funny to angry. It’s tense when Hex discovers from Nimrod that the Doctor knows of his mother long ago.
The story features the first appearance of Maggie O’Neil as Captain Lysandra Aristedes. Lysandra is a Forge member and clearly a no-nonsense woman. She clearly hates the Doctor, blaming him for the deaths of so many people in ‘Project: Lazarus’ and there is friction between her and Ace.
Stephen Chance returns as Nimrod, who disguises himself as Sir William Abberton, now in charge of the Forge. Stephen delivers a brilliantly chilling performance as Nimrod. He delights in cruelly tormenting the Doctor and torments Hex when he reveals the true nature of his mother.
The rest of the guest cast are as follows. There’s Phillip Dinsdale as Sergeant Jarrod and Ingrid Oliver (now known as Osgood in the TV series) as Helen and the Oracle computer of the Forge.
It turns out Hex’s mum was Cassie, who appeared in the two previous Forge stories. Cassie became a vampire and was horribly killed by Nimrod before the Doctor’s eyes. Hex’s real name is Thomas Hector Schofield. Cassie’s surname was also Schofield and Hex was her ‘little Tommy’.
The Doctor knew Hex was Cassie’s son all this time. He discovered it when browsing personnel records at St. Gart’s Hospital in ‘The Harvest’. The Doctor wanted Hex to join him in the TARDIS, knowing who his mother is. But Hex sadly doesn’t see it and believes that the Doctor lied to him.
In the end, Nimrod is defeated and it’s all over. But for Hex, he declares it’s over between him and the Doctor. Hex can’t bear knowing about his mother in that way with the Doctor ‘lying’ to him and runs off. Ace calls to Hex to come back, but the Doctor knows he needs time to recover.
I did wonder what would happen next to Hex, as it seemed like that was the end of his time in ‘Doctor Who’. But it obviously can’t be the end, as Hex is bound to return to ‘Doctor Who’ in the next story. Will Hex forgive the Doctor, I wonder? Who knows? There’s only one way to find out!
‘Project: Destiny’ has been a fantastic, enjoyable story resolving the Forge arc and revealing the family origins of Hex. It’s a gripping story with fantastic performances by Sylvester McCoy; Sophie Aldred and Phillip Oliver. I was keen to find out what happens next for this TARDIS team.
The story ends with the Doctor and Ace saying goodbye to Lysandra in the TARDIS before she notices the seal of Rassilon hanging above the ceiling. Apparently the seal is on a sarcophagus kept within the Forge archives. Intrigued, the Doctor and Ace go off to look for this sarcophagus.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew including Sylvester McCoy; Sophie Aldred; Phillip Olivier; director Ken Bentley; writers Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, etc.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Project: Destiny’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘Project: Destiny’. There’s also a bonus Short Trip called ‘Lepidoptery for Beginners’ with the Second Doctor, read by Duncan Wibsey.
There’s also a trailer for the next story with the Doctor, Ace and Hex called ‘A Death in the Family’.
‘Project: Destiny’ rating – 8/10
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