Once a year, Big Finish mixes up the main range trilogies with a two-disc release of four separate stories, generally with a single Doctor/ companion team. Whereas previously these have been distinct stories written by different writers, this year’s Time in Office is a set of linked stories for the fifth Doctor and Tegan, all written by Eddie Robson.
The title refers to the office of President of the Time Lords, and it’s a reluctant return to Gallifrey for the Doctor and Tegan in stories all set after the TV episode The Five Doctors. At various moments, the story has a gentle tease of some of the dafter parts of that anniversary special, but always with some affection. It also works Leela into the mix (who was living on Gallifrey at the time) and although not as major a character as Tegan, it’s nice to hear Louise with this set of characters.
The stories have several tongue-in-cheek moments, but not so many as to reduce the moments of action, even though resolutions tend not involved too much conflict. While Peter Davison’s Doctor takes the time to refresh elements of Time Lord society, aided by both Castellan Lowri (Sheri-An Davis) and Chancellor Vorena (Julie Teal) with the usual amount of Time Lord politics and scheming. The Doctor’s sole ambition is to find a successor with the minimum amount of fuss, and this leaves Tegan with a lot of spare time for adventure.
In many ways Tegan is the hero of this set of stories, and takes the lead in defeating alien races, flying a TARDIS, rescuing important Time Lords and even setting off in her own set of adventures. It’s all great fun and shows just what both the character can do and how well Janet Fielding can play her. Leela gets her own moments in the spotlight, but the set is very much Tegan and the Fifth Doctor.
It’s a great collection of fun stories with plenty of little moments for fans to enjoy, and tells a proper story, and director Helen Goldwyn clearly enjoyed recording, and there are lots of characters and ideas worthy of following up in future stories.
EXTRAS: Music suite and behind the scenes interviews tagged onto each disc