Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 9/26/17 9:52 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
During the time of the Fifth Doctor specifically after the story "The Five Doctors", the position of Time Lord President remained vacant after the former president's disappearance under mysterious circumstances. Since the Doctor was technically elected as President at the end of that story, the Time Lords feel that it's time to bring him back and so with Tegan and Leela at his side, the Fifth Doctor is forced back to Gallifrey to officially become Lord High President with seemingly no escape. I'd been looking forward to this story for a very long time since it's announcement in fact and thankfully this is one that not only met my expectations but also did in a completely different way that I wasn't expecting. This is not just one story but technically four all of which take place during the Doctor's reign as President.
1. "Period of Adjustment" -- When the Doctor is summoned back by the Time Lords to become President, his initial days quickly become stressful to say the least when a mysterious bureau contacts him to prevent some of his biggest changes to Time Lord society. 'Period' works very well as an interesting beginning to the Doctor's reign begins though the final stakes don't end up having too much behind them as good as they are.
2. "Past Indiscretions" -- The Doctor and companions are forced in to a publicity stunt on a warring planet to appease a situation that for once he didn't create. It's a good little story with a hilarious twist that allows Tegan and Leela to shine in their various roles and presents some different aspects of each character as they adjust to Gallifrey and the various political situations that come with it.
3. "History Repeating" -- As the Doctor is properly settling in to his presidency and Tegan is quickly becoming bored out of her mind, Doctor and companion are once again seperated in to their own plots that coalesce together by the end with an interesting cliffhanger. This is probably the most standard of all of the stories for the most part but it's still engaging as we get to see details of the Doctor's time at the Time Lord Academy and Tegan becomes wrapped up in a very different and yet eerily familiar situation than you'd expect for her character.
4. "Architect of Destruction" -- The Doctor and team are enjoying a tour around the new Time Lord Capitol building built to accommodate one of the Doctor’s new policies but something strange is happening inside the architecture and the TARDIS team are once again seperated. This one is easily the most interesting story as it not only ends the set in a suitably big way but it presents a massive detail that has the potential to change the entire lore of Doctor Who forever (if you consider Big Finish canon like I do). It's a great encompassing of the entire audio as a whole as it represents the sum of its parts but yet at the same time is so much more and so full of surprises.
Each mini-story is wonderful in different ways, each interconnecting but yet feeling like it's own episode too which is a nice surprise and a very nice touch. The soundscape and cast in this one is great as well. Compared to the past few stories I've listened to lately with Five that haven't been that great, this story brings a refreshingly amazing performance from a Doctor I know and love. Peter Davison feels like a completely different person in all of the best ways and thus his Fifth Doctor is absolutely perfect in this one. Constantly frazzled and stressed but still keeping his selfless idealistic nature, Five is doing his absolute best even if he was forced in to the situation and yet he keeps his signature dry humor that makes us love the character. I really love Janet Fielding in this one as Tegan as well and that's a huge plus. Normally I'm not a huge Tegan fan but I love how involved she gets in Gallifreyan politics as the official Earth ambassador for Gallifrey and her spunk for once really works to her advantage. Louise Jameson is fine as always as Leela in a much more confidant and helpful tone than she normally gives as her dynamic with the Doctor has obviously changed between incarnations. However she almost feels a little unnecessary at times with everything else going on. The rest of the cast is good in various ways but not really as important as everything else. It's really all about Five, Tegan, Leela, and how they react to all of the situations around them as proper high officials on Gallifrey. As you can tell, this set is a bit more political than most Doctor Who stories but I honestly think it works really well especially in the tense political climate we all live in. More importantly, it makes these political machinations interesting, fun, and surprisingly funny to listen to which is a huge strength. This audio's biggest strength however is that it feels and acts like a Classic Who story and yet it successfully mixes New Who concepts in with it such as vortex manipulators and different gender regenerations. It also has tons of continuity nods to the past like the fact that Leela took out the Raston Warrior Robot herself. This makes the audio feel fresh and new (especially for a Gallifrey story) and yet old and nostalgic all at the same time and it's a wonderful combination of past and present in to one glorious whole. As you can tell, I honestly adore this story in every way and the two hours of its running time absolutely fly by. With a great premise that added to the lore of my favorite part of Classic Who, amazing performances from all of the cast, a great satirizing caricature of the current political climate, intriguing and fascinating writing from Eddie Robson, and an good ending that leads beautifully into the future, "Time in Office" lived immensely up to my expectations and has become a new highlight for me for the Fifth Doctor.