‘THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY’ (TLV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Daleks with the Eighth Doctor on Wrax
Can the Eighth Doctor and the Daleks be really good allies together in this adventure?
‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ is the second Big Finish audio adventure starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ series of ‘Doctor Who’! I greatly enjoyed this adventure and I like how it links things into the tales ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’ and ‘All Flesh is Grass’.
This audio episode is by Tracy Ann Baines and this is the first time I’ve come across her as a ‘Doctor Who’ writer. She’s also written one of ‘The Diary of River Song’ episodes called ‘A Brave New World’. I hope there’ll be more Big Finish audios by Tracy to look forward to as I found this story good.
This story follows on directly from the end of ‘He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not’. The Eighth Doctor finds himself in the company of twelve Daleks aboard their Dalek ship. They are the Dalek Time Squad who were mentioned in ‘The Guide to the Dark Times’ from the 2021 ‘Doctor Who Annual’ I’ve read.
The Dalek Time Squad has four individual members, including the Dalek Time Commander, a Scientist Dalek, a Dalek Executioner and the ancient Dalek Prime Strategist. The Dalek Prime Strategist was in the ‘Defender of the Daleks’ comic. It’s interesting to find it in this audio adventure.
On their ship, the Dalek Time Commander explains to the Doctor that multiple temporal anomalies have occurred across the universe. This is something the Eighth Doctor had noticed when he visited Atharna in the previous story. The Dalek Time Squad needs the Doctor’s help in order to investigate.
Not liking the idea of allying with the Daleks, the Doctor comes to realise that the changes to multiple events across the universe such as new species and planets, which constitute a threat to the Dalek Empire, cause a threat to the rest of the universe. He agrees to help out the Dalek Time Squad.
It was unusual to hear the Eighth Doctor and the Daleks working together to save reality in the universe. It’s clear the Doctor is very bitter in his alliance with the Daleks, especially as he’s currently fighting them in the Time War. But there could be far worse threats than the Daleks than that in this.
The Doctor and the Daleks soon visit a planet called Wrax. The Doctor is confused to see Wrax as it’s meant to be a barren rock. It now has an atmosphere which sustains life. Wrax’s timeline must have been rewritten when the Tenth Doctor visited the Dark Times in ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’.
They soon visit the planet in peace and they meet several Wraxian civilians including President Sarathin and her advisor Boros. As the story progresses, it turns out the Wrax could be worse than the Daleks, especially when they have a Devolver weapon. This reduces people into big pools of goo.
There are echoes of the Short Trip audio ‘Master Thief’ in this adventure, especially when the Devolver weapon gets left behind on Wrax where the Master picks it up. I wonder how the Roger Delegado Master came to know about the Devolver weapon once he picked it up in that certain tale.
The Kotturuh get mentioned as President Sarathin claims the Devolver weapon was developed from their technology. In this adventure, the Doctor has a moment of confusion as he recalls that the Kotturuh are still alive but they died in ancient history. On audio, this was pretty peculiar to listen to.
So far, the Kotturuh have appeared in ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’ which took place in the Dark Times and one Kotturuh appeared in ‘Lesser Evils’. Apparently, ‘Lesser Evils’ takes place long after the Dark Times. I wonder why the Eighth Doctor recalled them still being alive whilst also dead.
Like most Big Finish audios recorded in 2020, ‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ was recorded remotely on certain dates from March to April in that year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It must have been very challenging for the cast and crew to record these audios remotely on many recording dates.
Paul McGann is excellent as the Eighth Doctor in this adventure. I enjoyed his interaction with the Daleks, which I don’t think gets to happen very often in ‘Doctor Who’. It’s intriguing how the Doctor copes with becoming an ally of the Daleks. I’m sure it can’t have been a pleasant experience for him.
It was intriguing to hear his interaction with the Dalek Prime Strategist as sometimes they can be of like minds in terms of intellect and such. The Eighth Doctor doesn’t have a companion to bounce off in these ‘TLV’ audios. The closest connection he gets to someone in this is the Dalek Prime Strategist.
It was also fascinating how Paul McGann’s Doctor reacted to the Wrax’s methods to become a superior race. He finds them a threat and I like how he works out their society before finding a way to stop what they are doing, solving the mystery of the time anomalies connected to the Dark Times.
The Doctor compares the Wraxians’ Great Hall to the Mesoamerican pyramids in Mexico such as the Great Pyramid. I wonder if Tracy Ann Baines had Mexican influences in this story. It’s a challenge to visualise, especially when this story is set on an alien planet and it wouldn’t have many Earth elements.
Nicholas Briggs provides the voices of many Dalek characters in this audio story. I don’t know how Nick Briggs is able to do it, but he manages to shift from varying Dalek characters with varying voices seamlessly. He must have had practice over the years, especially when working in his home studio. 🙂
As well as voicing the Daleks, Nick Briggs also plays Krinso, one of the security troops on the planet Wrax, I believe. Unfortunately, Krinso gets exterminated by the Daleks in the adventure. It’s ironic Nick Briggs plays a character who gets exterminated by Daleks whilst also voicing Daleks in this story.
It was tense when the Dalek Executioner wanted the Doctor executed but the Dalek Prime Strategist stopped it. We know the Eighth Doctor has to survive this story, but it’s fascinating how the Dalek Prime Strategist holds off the Dalek Executioner from killing the Doctor too soon as they need him. 🙂
A thing I’ve noticed about the Dalek Time Squad is that most of them aren’t bronze Daleks like the ones in the new series. Most of them are grey, black or red. Maybe they’re transitioning from classic series into new series Daleks with varying colours. There are also silver Dalek drones in the squad. 😀
Rachel Atkins guest stars as President Sarathin in this audio adventure. I’ve come across Rachel Atkins before as she was in ‘The Lady of Mercia’, ‘The Worlds of Doctor Who’ and ‘The War Master’ story ‘Only the Good’. She’s also been in an episode of ‘Call the Midwife’. She’s very good in this. 😀
Raj Ghatak guest stars as Boros, President Sarathin’s advisor in the audio episode. Raj Ghatak has done his fair share of Big Finish audios including ‘Madquake’ with Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and George Watkins. It was very intriguing to hear both Sarathin and Boros as the villains of this adventure.
The story also features two security guards, played by Jacob Dudman and Samantha Béart. Jacob Dudman is well-known for voicing the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in ‘The Doctor Chronicles’ by Big Finish. Samantha Béart has been in ‘The War Master’ story ‘The Master of Callous’.
The story concludes with the Daleks backstabbing the Wraxians once they came to an agreement of shutting down their terrible weapons. The Doctor seems to be unaware of this. I’m not surprised the Daleks backstabbed the Wraxians since they are never known to keep their words with sparing lives.
Once they’ve returned to their Dalek ship, the Doctor tells the Dalek Time Squad that they need to go to the Dark Times. That’s where they’ll find the Tenth Doctor as the Time Lord Victorious in ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’ along with the Ninth Doctor and the vampires. This sounds exciting! 🙂
‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ has been an enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure featuring Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and the Daleks in the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ series. I enjoyed the Eighth Doctor’s interaction with the Daleks and I’m very intrigued about where all of this is going to go next.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of ‘The Enemy of My Enemy’, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Paul McGann, Nicholas Briggs, writer Tracy Ann Baines, director Scott Handcock, producer Alfie Shaw, etc. There’s also a suite of incidental music to enjoy.
‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ (TLV) rating – 8/10
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