Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious: Mutually Assured Destruction cover art

Time Lord Victorious: Mutually Assured Destruction – Doctor Who audio review

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Mutually Assured Destruction is Big Finish’s third full-cast Time Lord Victorious drama. It concludes the trio of stories which form their main contribution to the Doctor Who multi-platform crossover event.

Following the TLV timeline, this tale happens after the novel All Flesh is Grass, and it is soon clear that the unlikely alliance between the Doctor and the Daleks is over.

With a Vengeance

The story begins with the Dalek time ship falling through the vortex. Searching for his TARDIS, we find Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor at his most resourceful. Evading sensors and manipulating the ship’s systems, he is engaged in a game of cat and mouse with the Dalek crew.

Touted as Die Hard on a spaceship, writer Lizzie Hopley makes Mutually Assured Destruction much more than that. The Doctor manages to divide and conquer, setting the crew against each other and wreaking havoc with the Dalek psyche.

Die Cast

Paul McGann seems on enthusiastic form here, gleefully combating the Daleks with a mix of charm and determination. We loved how industrious the Doctor was and how playful too – especially when tormenting the Dalek Scientist as they ‘danced’ in zero-gravity.

Naturally, Nicholas Briggs is on multiple Dalek duty and cleverly differentiates their personalities; they are individually competitive, power-hungry and, of course, deeply paranoid. The belligerent Executioner thinks with his gunstick, while the booming Time Commander is deeply suspicious of the ancient Strategist – keen to pin the failures of their mission on someone else.

In the wider cast, there are two members of non-Dalek ‘cargo’, Tiska and Groth. Their inclusion adds greater depth to the story, as well as giving the Doctor someone else to interact with. However, despite the best efforts of Samantha Béart and Wilf Scolding, their story felt a little underdeveloped; possibly there is more resonance if you have read All Flesh is Grass?

In short, Mutually Assured Destruction is great fun and stands on its own, as well as throwing a couple of links back to the previous TLV audios. Entertaining, if not essential listening.

Four Stars

Doctor Who – Time Lord Victorious: Mutually Assured Destruction is available on CD and download from Big Finish.