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< 9.2 - Soldier Obscura
9.4 - Desperate Measures >

9.3 - The Devil You Know

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Gallifrey - Time War
8.3
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/27/18 8:28 pm
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Following off of the fallout from 'Obscura' and with a Dalek invasion fleet on the way, Romana has realized that the Doctor will never concede to help them in this war. And so she has to turn to the next best thing as much as she may not want to: The Master (once again played by Derek Jacobi).  Bringing the Master into this set was a stroke of absolute genius and (from my understanding) a first for the series so far and it really helps to not only up the tension considering we all know how much of a wildcard the Master can be but it also helps to again bring the whole Whoniverse together a bit more and make it feel like a connected place rather than just separate series that happen to be in the same universe. For the Master, this particular outing takes place between 'Beneath the Viscoid' and 'The Good Master' from "Only The Good" from last year and in fact serves as the lead in to that story in and of itself which was a nice surprise. However in terms of this set, 'Devil' works as a character of study for both Leela as they struggle to not only use their own approaches but also find a way to work together for a good cop / bad cop sort of mission in trying to find more information about a potential advantage to be gained in the War. There isn't too much action or intrigue as the focus is on long drawn out sections of interwoven dialogue but the way in which the mission itself ends up playing out is a fascinating one and it never once loses your attention. Louise Jameson and Derek Jacobi are an amazing pair together and their dialogue and confrontations as well as their words and in the story are an easy highlight for both of their characters. Jacobi in particular shines in letting his shrewd knowledge and cunning take over in reading people's expressions and actions for his own advantage. It reminds me greatly of a story from the Eighth Doctor series "Dark Eyes" called 'Masterplan' where the Doctor and the Master are pitted against each other and only each other for a similar reason. While there is a third part here in Bryan Dick's Finnian Valentine's whose plight is unique in causing the situation, it's really a two party story between Leela and the Master with everything else taking a backseat including the war. As much as I love this story for that reason, I do feel that it could've easily been taken out of the War itself and placed somewhere else as it's connection is more for the Master than for the Time War and it's characters which I do consider a very slight problem. But outside of that, 'Devil' keeps things tense and anxious as well as throws more monkey wrenches into the Time Lords' plans in particular Romana who is going to have a ton to handle the finale. While it is by default the weakest story in this set, 'Devil You Know' is still one hell of a great story and an interesting lead into not only 'Measures' but also 'The Good Master' which I want to listen to again after hearing this story.