Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 12/21/17 11:02 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
After a long and tragic journey, we come to the end for Cole and the Master. Within 5 minutes of the story opening, a gorgeous monologue from our lead makes things seemingly clear as to where we are headed: a grand plan to end the Time War on the Master's terms and by extension ending everything in the process. The traveling pair land in Stamford Bridge 1976 and head for a space beneath the stair of No. 24 Marigold Lane to find the key to resolving all of the threads. But what exactly has been hidden there right in plain sight and how far will the Master go to achieving what he desires? 'Paradigm' as a story raises the stakes to the highest level as it appears that the Time Lords have been been using Earth in the War more so than they've been letting on. As to what exactly the Master wants to get his hands on aka the Heavenly Paradigm of the title, it's very similar to what the Moment was in 'Day of the Doctor' except on the opposite scale. Without giving too much away, it fits perfectly within the character of the Time Lords that they would have an item of this extreme a nature in their collection and it seems completely fitting that the Master would go for this kind of a weapon to end the War as to how the Doctor went for the Moment serving as another strong contrast between the two. This one also takes an insane dive straight into the minds of both our characters and does a really fantastic job in actually following up with what happenned in 'Sky Man' especially in how destructive Cole and the Master's actions actually were. Cole gets to see and experience hell on his own terms while we get to see the Master's mind key traits on full display and in plain sight for all to see. More so than any of the stories in this set, we very much get to see how he works in that he doesn't want chaos but control of everything as a matter of fact. If the previous story showed how subtly evil he could be, 'Paradigm' goes the opposite route and finally brings us the full extent and extreme of his manipulative evil nature. Considering the writer of this one wrote some of the best and most memorable stories for the War Doctor, River Song, and Captain Jack in other Big Finish audios, you can imagine how well this is all handled and it makes this story an extremely intense psychological thrill ride in more ways than one. Everyone ends the saga on a strong note particularly Jacobi who you can tell is loving the hell out of this particular story and his performance therein. Green again gives a final strong performance as Cole (I don't consider it a spoiler as to that he obviously won't survive this one given where how things are in the New Series) and there is also a strong side character played by Nerys Hughes who has some great lines and conversations with a lot of meaning behind them. She by her words once again show not only just how far the Time Lords are willing to go to win the War but what's the best they can accurately hope in a way that's eerily prophetic on what will actually happen by the War's end. It all comes together in a very strong ending with more than one reference to past, present, and future. In particular, a specific musical cue returns and events mentioned in the New Series are finally seen that link everything thematically in a terrifying way that gave me absolute chills. I honestly wasn't sure if this finale would be able to live up to its predecessor so colored me shocked to say that it absolutely does in all of the best ways. It gave me exactly what I wanted to see and not only matched but exceeded my high expectations. 'Paradigm' is a perfect end to this set and I truly hope we get more stories with this Master very soon.