‘THE ARCHITECTS OF HISTORY’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Selachians and the Galactic Reich
History has changed and it’s all Klein’s fault!
N.B. – You need to listen to the previous Klein stories, ‘Colditz’, ‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’, ‘Klein’s Story’ and ‘Survival of the Fittest’ before you listen to this particular ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure.
‘The Architects of History’ is the third story in the 2010 Klein trilogy. It ends on an epic note, starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Tracey Childs as Klein. I enjoyed this audio adventure! It is full of twists and turns and enhances more on the character of Klein and her relationship with the Doctor.
This is a four-part audio adventure by Steve Lyons. Steve originally created the character of Elizabeth Klein in ‘Colditz’ back in 2001. I’m sure Steve enjoyed and was pleased to write for Klein again especially as she’d returned to ‘Doctor Who’ in such a long period of time in the history of Big Finish.
‘The Architects of History’ picks up after ‘Survival of the Fittest’, when Klein stole the TARDIS. She uses it to change history by creating the timeline she belonged to before meeting the Doctor. Now she’s in charge of the Galactic Reich in 2044 and the Doctor is her prisoner on the Earth’s Moonbase.
But Klein’s version of history is not perfect as she hoped. Soon the Moonbase gets attacked by the shark-like Selachians. Klein and her force attempt to repel the Selachian forces and get the Doctor to help them. Will the Doctor be able to save history from Klein’s tampering with his own master plan?
I found the idea of Klein re-shaping and changing history to her selfish needs quite frightening. Klein is a Nazi and to think that the future is Nazified and called the Galactic Reich is disturbing. She leads her forces and thinks she’s created a Golden Age. But she’s caused a lot of damage to the timeline.
I was quite surprised that the Doctor is now a prisoner of Klein’s new regime in the future. It seems to be unexplained, but because of Klein’s constant tampering with the timelines it made sense. Also the Doctor knows Klein’s history, despite his brain and mind inside an alternative version of himself.
I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy and Tracey Childs’ performances as the Seventh Doctor and Klein in this audio story. They’re pretty antagonistic, as the Doctor doesn’t trust Klein anymore due to her betraying him. Klein is desperate for the Doctor to help her. She knows he’d rather die than aid her.
The monsters in this audio adventure are the Selachians. These monsters, created by Steve Lyons, have appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before during the Second Doctor era. They’ve appeared in books and in another audio story including ‘The Murder Game’; ‘The Selachian Gambit’ and ‘The Final Sanction’.
The Selachians are shark-like monsters who wear battle armour and are pretty vicious and ruthless. They consider the ‘human scum’ as plankton and show no mercy in wanting to kill them. In this timeline of Klein’s, they want to wipe out the humans and they attack the Earth Moonbase as a start.
The story’s guest cast includes Lenora Crichlow as Rachel Cooper. Lenora has appeared in the new TV series of ‘Doctor Who’ in the episode called ‘Gridlock’. Rachel Cooper, in the alternative timeline, happens to be the companion of the Seventh Doctor and she is secretly working for him undercover.
I was saddened to find that Rachel never got to meet the Doctor in this story or that Lenora had any scenes with Sylvester. In the corrected timeline, Rachel never meets the Doctor at all. Perhaps one day in a future Big Finish audio, Rachel may return back and meet the Doctor at last. I truly hope so!
There’s also Jamie Parker who guest stars as Major Richter. Richter is Klein’s right-hand man in the alternative timeline. He also pilots the TARDIS with Klein. Richter is a pretty ruthless and a very unsavoury character. He even suspects that Rachel is working undercover and he wants to kill her.
The rest of the guest cast include Ian Hayles as Sam Kirke; Lloyd McGuire as Generalleutnant Tendexter and Rachel Laurence as Feldwebel. Chris Porter and David Dobson voice the Selachians.
‘The Architects of History’ ends with the Doctor and Klein back in the TARDIS. Klein is about to be completely erased from history and possibly from existence. The scene between Sylvester and Tracey as the Doctor and Klein is so tense and poignant. Klein is seemingly willing to accept her fate.
But later on, the Doctor visits Klein on Earth. She’s now a member of U.N.I.T. and has become its scientific advisor. The Doctor asks Klein whether she can remember anything about their first meeting in ‘Colditz’. She vaguely remembers it. This is now the beginning of a new version of Klein.
The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a trailer for ‘City of Spires’ with Colin Baker and Frazer Hines. There’s also a suite of incidental music at the end of Disc 1. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews including with Sylvester McCoy; Tracey Childs; etc.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Architects of History’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘The Architects of History’. There’s also a bonus Short Trip called ‘The Doctor’s First XI’ with the Fourth Doctor, read by Stephen Critchlow.
I’ve greatly enjoyed hearing ‘The Architects of History’ on audio. It’s a great finale to this trilogy of stories. I liked how the character of Klein has been developed and it certainly seems like it’s not the last of her. One wonders where Klein will go next and how she will meet the umbrella man again…
‘The Architects of History’ rating – 8/10
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