January will see the release of Seventh Doctor audio Dark Universe. We look at why this is such an incredibly exciting Doctor Who story…
Last week, at Big Finish Day, details were revealed about a Doctor Who audio that we can look forward to next year: Dark Universe, featuring Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. More details and even a trailer were revealed by io9 later that same day. But what makes this a must-listen?
Firstly, the audio will feature Mark Bonnar as the Eleven. A Time Lord psychopath in his eleventh incarnation, the Eleven retains the personalities of all his previous incarnations, making him a rather unstable and unpredictable enemy.
Thanks to both strong writing and a great performance by Bonnar, the character has been an unsurprisingly popular villain for a long time, ever since his introduction in Eighth Doctor series Doom Coalition.
The road to Doom Coalition
This leads me to the second reason why Dark Universe is exciting. The opening scene of Doom Coalition actually features a cameo by Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. The series established from the start that it was McCoy’s Doctor who was responsible for capturing the Eleven and making sure that he was imprisoned on Gallifrey.
In fact, the opening episode of Doom Coalition, The Eleven, was all about the psychopath’s escape from Gallifrey and the Eighth Doctor trying to resolve unfinished business from his previous incarnation.
What’s so exciting about Dark Universe is that it’s not just a random meeting between the Seventh Doctor and the Eleven. It’s actually been explicitly revealed that it’s a direct prequel to Doom Coalition, and will finally reveal the circumstances as to how the Seventh Doctor caught the Eleven in the first place. Considering this was such a major part of the back story for Doom Coalition, it’s fantastic that we’re finally going to find out the full details of how it all began.
One last reunion?
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Dark Universe will also feature a reunion between the Seventh Doctor and his old friend Ace. This isn’t the first story to feature such a reunion. In fact, this month’s An Alien Werewolf in London made it clear that he visited his old friend from time to time after they stopped travelling together.
However, their reunion in Dark Universe feels bigger. Because this time, it’s been noticeably longer for Ace since she’s last seen the Doctor. Twenty years, in fact. And judging by her reaction from the trailer, she’s not happy. So there could be some interesting drama here.
But it also might be more significant than that. Because one thing that happens in the opening scene in Doom Coalition is that the President has another task for the Seventh Doctor. “A final request”, as it’s described.
It’s very subtly implied that this “request” is the Doctor collecting the Master’s remains from Skaro, which leads to his regeneration in the TV movie. So Dark Universe could very well give us the closest thing to a true final adventure for the Seventh Doctor. It would make the major reunion he has with Ace even more fitting if they stick to that idea.
Regardless, Dark Universe looks set to be an incredibly exciting audio, one that’s perfect for long-term fans to check out when it’s released on CD and download in January next year.
Are you excited about this encounter between the Seventh Doctor and the Eleven? Do you think the story will lead into the TV movie? Have you listened to any of the Eleven’s previously released stories? Let us know in the comments below.