Black and White follows on immediately from the events of Protect and Survive. Ace and Hex, who have already been through so much in the previous story, finally win the game that they’ve been forced to play and receive their reward in the shape of the TARDIS.
There’s just one problem, the Doctor isn’t there… instead, they encounter two women a pair that will be very familiar if you’ve been following the adventures of the Seventh Doctor and his friends over the last few years.
Because Black and White forms part of a long game for the Seventh Doctor stories this year, it bridges the gap between the seemingly innocent Protect and Survive and the epicly epic Gods and Monsters. Sometimes, Big Finish don’t always take advantage of the trilogy format that they offer, the stories are often linked by a smaller theme that’s neatly resolved at the end of the three play run. With this year’s Seventh Doctor stories, they’ve taken the idea of the trilogy and made it suitable epic. Not only that, they’ve taken characters from previous Big Finish stories and paid off long term listeners with progression and story arcs.
This particular story serves as two things, it progress the overall story arc forward, explains (partly) why there is a black TARDIS and a white TARDIS, something that regular listeners will have been wondering about. It reintroduces Lysandra Aristedes and Sally Morgan and elevates them to full time TARDIS members and importantly, it tells us (again, partly) what the Doctor has been up to recently with a baby TARDIS.
Black and White’s second function is to provide a story encounter for all four TARDIS crewmembers with the legendary Beowulf as well as Stuart Milligan’s egotistical and self serving alien character Garundel. Whilst the secondary stories are interesting, they may have fallen slightly flatter had they merely been a normal series rotation story. But as they are here, providing springboards for all the main characters to be flung into the epic final act of this trilogy, they work fantastically.
Whilst it is a is a very enjoyable story with some well written characters, it does need to be listened to as part of a trilogy or you may find yourself with just a few too many questions that need answering. Although well worth your time, you might want to consider purchasing this story with the two that surround it, for maximum effect.
Black and White is available on CD for £14.99 or via download for £12.99 from www.bigfinish.com.