There will be those of you that by now have bought and listened to The Light at the End, the Fiftieth Anniversary multi Doctor story from Big Finish Productions featuring Doctors one through to eight.
But there are still some that have not, holding on for that point where perhaps the story goes on sale or maybe you’re just waiting for that payday to come where you can pick up your copy. This reviewer urges you to do so as soon as you possibly can because, in honesty, The Light at the End is one of the most wonderful and charming Doctor Who adventures to ever come from Big Finish.
Should this review break down the good from the bad, the stronger from the weaker or the rational from the absurd? Absolutely not, as this is not what this summary is designed to do. It’s not often that this reviewer will gush about a story from Big Finish, they all have their merits and all carry their own charms. Some are stronger than others, some favour character over plot and vice versa. The key to a good review is to remain somewhat impartial, most of the time.
But when it comes to The Light at the End, it has to be said that writer Nicholas Briggs has outdone himself, in fact this is the most satisfying Doctor Who story that he has ever written. Is that because it contains all of the Doctors at once? That certainly helps, but it’s the layers in the story that show the great care and attention to detail that Briggs has put into this adventure. The Master’s plan is solid; the pace of the story unfolds wonderfully and each Doctor gets a fair amount of dialogue.
The use of the Doctors in their various incarnations when they are together is also handled well, rather than sycophantically drooling over each other’s presence with congratulatory slaps on the back and winks and nods to each other’s brilliance, Briggs chooses to let them all have a strong mutual respect for one another from the start. Gone are the days of petty squabbling, it seems that as the Doctor gets older and perhaps lonelier as a result, he becomes less self deprecating. Incarnations One through to Eight work together quickly and efficiently to solve the problem of the Master and his pocket Universe.
When all is said and done, this reviewer could still talk about how wonderful The Light at the End is from beginning to end, especially the last five minutes of the story which is hilarious and moving at the same time. But the simplest way to sum up The Light at the End is that it is one of the greatest anniversary stories for Doctor Who ever created. This tale is wonderful addition to the annuls of Doctor Who, showcasing the show’s variety and endurance that it has built over the last 50 years.
Many complained that they wanted to see all the Doctors on television in The Day of the Doctor, here we’re offered something far better; the first eight incarnations of the Doctor, absolutely the same man, still saving the Universe regardless of the fact that a new generation of fans is waking up in 2014 to the Twelfth Doctor.
It’s pretty much one of the best birthday presents ever.
The Light at the End is available from Big Finish now, in standard and limited collectors editions.