The story of the Time War is about to be told
If you’ve watched Doctor Who over the last 10 years, then the phrase “The TIme War” has a very specific meaning. It also remains the most unexplored portion of a show with a 50 year history (with the exception of the Doctor’s early days).
When Russell T. Davies brought Doctor Who back to the air in 2005, it featured a Doctor that you could easily argue was suffering from PTSD. The Time War had seemingly wiped out his entire race, but in doing so they took the Daleks with them.
Over the years, that event has been explored to a degree, but Davies never intended to tell the story of the war. Hint at it, sure, but not actually tell it. It was just one of those things better left to the imagination, at least at the time.
The 50th anniversary episode changed that a bit. It delved into the final moments of the Time War and introduced a central, previously unknown player: The War Doctor. It highlighted the final moments of the Time Lords and the destruction of the Daleks, but it didn’t explain how things got there though.
That story is finally going to be told. Although it won’t technically be official.
If you are a fan of Doctor Who, you should familiarize yourself with Big Finish Productions. The group is responsible for hundreds of audio dramas set in the Doctor Who universe, most of which star the older Doctors – specifically the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Doctors.
There are even some told from the point of view of companions that features the First, Second and Third Doctors. Big Finish also has several stories featuring Doctor Who characters and monsters, many of which don’t feature the Doctor at all.
The BBC recently granted Big Finish the exclusive rights to create audio dramas of Doctor Who for at least the next few years. The stories BF creates aren’t technically canon for the show, but they are deeply connected, and as long as the BF dramas don’t contradict the show or create future events like introducing a new Doctor, it can do what it wants.
There was even a brief nod to the BF Eighth Doctor adventures in the webseries prequel to the anniversary episode. In “The Night of the Doctor,” shortly before the Doctor regenerated he called out the names of companions that only appeared in the audio dramas.
BF has just announced its most ambitious project yet: two massive series connected to the Time War.
The first features the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann), and it focuses on the beginnings of the Time War. It will be out in November as a box set, which means it will likely be around three hours based on other BF box sets. It will cost $20 for a digital download, and $30.44 for the physical medias.
That story is meant to be a prequel for the main event – a 12-hour story of the Time War featuring John Hurt as the War Doctor.
The first three hour box set, titled “Only the Monstrous,” will be available in December 2015 and cost the same as the Eighth Doctor’s story. The next, “Infernal Devices,” will debut in February 2016. The third and fourth volumes haven’t been issued a name or release date yet, but they are currently recording.
Hurt will appear alongside Jaqueline Pearce of Blake’s 7 fame as Time Lord Lady Cardinal Ollistra, described as “an arch manipulator who is waging the Time War against the Daleks.”
The show may one day go back and decide to tell the story on film, but there are no plans to ever do so. For now, if you want to check out the untold story of Doctor Who and the Time War, you can pre-order all five sets now.