Daughter of the Gods is the second Doctor Who Early Adventures story Big Finish released in November 2019, along with The Home Guard. It’s packed with interest; we have the first and second Doctors meeting when they shouldn’t along with companions Zoe (Wendy Padbury), Jamie (Frazer Hines also voicing the second Doctor), Steven (Peter Purves also voicing the first Doctor) and Katarina (Ajjaz Awad). David K Barnes takes all these ingredients and crafts a story with great care and attention. If you aren’t au fait with every 1960s companion, you need to know Katarina was the first companion to die on screen during the (mostly missing) epic story The Daleks’ Master Plan. Something is wrong with time!
Too many Doctors
Like the TV story The Two Doctors we have the pleasure of interacting Doctors without the need of an anniversary (technically Big Finish is marking 20 years of the licence, but this doesn’t seem to be connected). It’s an old-fashioned TARDIS problem pushing history way off course. We get to visit the universe where Katarina lived but events in The Daleks’ Master Plan turned out very different. David approaches the story well with different TARDIS crews leading segments of the story, some scenes told from multiple points of view and plenty of good old-fashioned Dalek aggression. Secondary characters work well and Captain Parlos (Laura Elphinstone) deserves praise for characterisation under Lisa Bowerman’s direction.
The Daughter of the Gods
As the title makes clear, this story is about Katarina and is a rare Dalek story without the word Dalek in the title. The centre is the ethical dilemma of the one vs the many, changing history and debating the right to change it back. Katarina is still very much trapped in her original mindset and strongly focussed on destiny. She also has psychic gifts so is more than half-aware of her own death in the original timeline. It all makes for great listening and her interactions with others work well. It’s fascinating to compare her with Leela. Also a primitive, Leela was able to transcend her upbringing piece by piece. Some of this has happened with Katarina but ultimately she is tied to her original beliefs. Fascinating stuff!
The ending may have been to a large extent inevitable but that doesn’t detract from the joy of a good story well told. Could Katarina have stayed with the second Doctor? It would have been interesting but not a path Big Finish has chosen. Yet!
Daughter of the Gods is available to buy on CD or download from the Big Finish website.