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< 8.9 - Starborn
8.11 - The Elixir of Doom >

8.10 - The War To End All Wars

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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 6/12/16 5:59 am
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Well this is the last Companion Chronicles according to the extras at the end of this rather excellent release, this time Guerrier takes the CC release for one last spin. The story is wonderfully written and Peter Purvis plays the parts of the Doctor, Dodo and of course Steven. He is ably assisted in this release by the quite charming Alice Haig whose part of Sida acts more like a sounding board and recipient for Steven's recollection of why he is where he is, and how he has found himself to be at the point in his life, knowing what he does from the experiences that he has gained from travelling with the Doctor and meeting others, and, experiencing other worlds and their cultures. Steven is a space pilot, he is a military man. So he is used to being in an institutionalised environment, so being cast on a planet that is at War is not too far away from a military man's comfort zone, and ironically the planet is called Comfort. However never was there a description so far from the truth. The separation element soon occurs and Steven and Dodo, are sent their separate ways, and, it is not soon, before Steven comes to realise that the War he is part of is a con, the whole planet is playing at War games for real. Steven see's the futility of this all, and also starts to learns more about his own self and the way he has processed his life and the way he thinks about war and the politics around it all. The story itself broadens your appreciation of the companion and what he has to put up with to a lesser or greater degree being part of the Doctors ongoing exploits, and for once you see here with Steven that he has decided that the his time is almost at an end. I found the ending quite acceptable without it being a shock, but the overall feeling of this I think made out more to me than the finality of it.

There is a lot more going on in the words of Guerrier's script here than a mere play. He is using it as vehicle for commentary, and quite rightly so, as there is a deep tradition of social and political commentary in Doctor Who, you don't have to wander to far if you take a look back at things like Pertwee era and some of the later Troughton stuff. It is obvious that the writers where making there own subtle commentaries through what was then the might BBC a corporation so large that itself had it's own form of political structure, for which, it is obvious when you get talented and clever individuals who are creative are going to exploit in this way. So with reflection, this story carries on that tradition, and also quite sadly draws a veil over what is quite brilliantly one of the best spin offs Big Finish have done in the world of the Doctor.