Recap: Big Finish Doctor Who 057 Arrangements For War
Following the massive emotional fallout from "Project: Lazarus"
, the Sixth Doctor decides, on Evelyn's insistance, to go someplace where they can just be
. No villains to thwart, no monsters to flee from. Evelyn can't cope with how the Doctor seems to just take death and horror in his stride, and she needs to spend some time away from everything.
They set down on the planet Világ, a peaceful, modern-era society of humanoids. The Killorans, a race of warlike dog-people
, will invade the planet in a few weeks, but the Doctor plans for them to be well gone before then. He tells Evelyn that there's no reason for him to interfere, as the invasion will be swiftly repelled by a soon to be formalised alliance between Világ's two superpowers: Galen and Malendia, cemented by the marriage of
Galen's Princess Krisztina and Malendia’s Prince Viktor.
The TARDIS lands in the middle of Galen's palace gardens, where Evelyn soon befriends Princess Krisztina amidsts the singing flowers. She's invited to stay a while in the palace as a guest and meets the old gentleman Governor Rossiter, who's acting as an ambassador of Kozepén, a small country located right between Galen and Malendia.
The Doctor, meanwhile, decides to go fishing for a while, and starts a nice conversation with a young soldier named Marcus. Over a board game, Marcus explains that he's in the gardens to meet a lost love. The Doctor encourages him to go through with it, because no matter what consequences his actions might have, it's always someone's own responsibility to live with the consequences of their actions. Marcus and Six debate the matter for a while, and Six struggles to convey his views on the difference between guilt and responsibility. He's deeply troubled by the way his flippant manner after Cassie's death upset Evelyn, but he simply doesn't have the luxury — or the personality — anymore to mourn every death openly. Marcus, on the other hand, is still young and has his whole life ahead of him, and the Doctor urges him to reunite with his love, regardless of the what-ifs and the potential cost. He immediately regrets that decision when said love turns out to be Princess Krisztina.
With Marcus and Krisztina now set on resuming their past affair and endangering the arranged marriage that would unite the nations' military forces, the Doctor and Evelyn decide to stay at the Galen court and oversee the proceedings. They're soon framed by Plenipotentiary Suskind of Malendia, who sees the alliance as a threat to his nation's independence and who (despite having no backing from his democratically elected government) plans to prevent the marriage. With the help of his Commander Pokol
, the Axe Crazy
head of his black ops squad, Suskind exposes the affair. The Doctor and Evelyn (who was just beginning a gentle romance with Rossiter) are arrested.
Evelyn is to be extradited to Malendia, but escapes by throwing herself out of a moving train, realising that either her heart or the Killorans would kill her soon anyway. She's hospitalised and confronted by Rossiter, who's saddened to learn about her heart condition, as well as deeply hurt by the amount of secrets Evelyn keeps from him and her insistence on him mobilising a strong army for no apparent reason.
When the Killorans do finally invade, Suskind realises the folly of his xenophobic attitude. He promptly agrees to form the alliance regardless of Princess Krisztina's affair. But although the Killoran forces are repelled, Marcus — who was sent to the front lines following the scandal — is killed. Krisztina, sobbing over his body, is violently murdered by Commander Pokol.
The Doctor goes off the emotional deep end, and — covered in Krisztina's blood — rushes back into the TARDIS to try and undo everything that happened. Evelyn intervenes and quickly alters the TARDIS' course, instead landing them five years before they first arrived. They see Marcus and Krisztina, young and in love, playing in the garden. Evelyn gently explains to Six that simply having been able to die together, instead of torn apart by the arranged marriage, was the greatest gift they could have possibly had. Six breaks down, but eventually concedes, and he cuddles up to Evelyn and simply watches the two young people play around for a while. He tells Evelyn that it's difficult for him to have a companion who's not a young Wide-Eyed Idealist
or someone who has her entire life ahead of her — Evelyn shows him a well-rounded, calmer side of humans that's still somewhat unfamiliar to him. And he can't change the way he is (bar regeneration, but he's pretty sure
Seven won't take every little tragedy to heart either). But simply watching Marcus and Krisztina together, and being there with Evelyn, is enough for now.
Arrangements for War contains examples of:
- A Bloody Mess: Played for Drama. The Doctor ends up covered in Krisztina's blood.
- Alien Invasion: An upcoming one.
- Ax-Crazy: Pokol at the end of the adventure, including lots of More Dakka.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kristina bashes a guard's face in with a dinner tray, causing a clerk to be frozen in fear.
- Big "NO!": The Doctor's reaction to Kristina's death.
- Break the Cutie: Evelyn is already quite broken when the story starts.
- Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage
- Busman's Holiday: Sort of. Although nothing completely out of the blue occurs, both the Doctor and Evelyn still find themselves caught up in Világ politics.
- Call Back: Evelyn recalls Cassie and Jem's deaths.
- Continuity Nod: The Doctor mentions meeting Seven, and having travelled with an American.
- Cool Old Guy: Governor Rossiter.
- Embarrassing First Name: See also Last Name Basis.
- Enemy Mine: What pulls the three nations together in the end.
- Fantastic Flora: They make music, and their pollen is intoxicating.
- Forever War
- The Ghost: Viktor never properly appears in the story.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Rossiter is played by Gabriel Woolf, better known as the voice of Sutekh from "Pyramids of Mars", and the Beast from "The Impossible Planet". He uses his deep voice and villanous experience to great effect as he falls in love with Evelyn, does his best for his planet, and basically is a stand up guy.
- Heroic BSOD: When Krisztina and Marcus are pointlessly gunned down, the Doctor just loses it and is just barely stopped from rewriting Világ's history entirey to save them by Evelyn.
- I Die Free: Krisztina.
- Incredibly Obvious Bug: Though The Doctor doesn't notice the flowers he's given every day aren't real..
- It Never Gets Any Easier: The main crux of the gulf between Evelyn and the Doctor, as she is overcome by the death that follows in his wake, and his apparent flippant attitude to it all.
- Kingmaker Scenario: Rossiter is Governor of Kozepén, a small country between the two superpowers, and is seeking to use his independent credentials to form an alliance between the two.
- Last Name Basis: Rossiter is rather embarrassed by his first name.
- Master of Unlocking: Evelyn.
- National Anthem: During the ceremony.
- News Broadcast
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Doctor inadvertently starts breaking up an arranged marriage.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Evelyn has to emphasize she's one in history, again.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: With a bit of Ironic Nursery Tune thrown in.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Six is really not looking forward to becoming a short fellow with an odd accent.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Running Gag: Evelyn's boots get mentioned with a: "Nice boots." every so often.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Doctor tries to undo the story at the end. Evelyn stops him.
- Shout-Out: The Doctor quotes The Palace of Art, and lastly in the story from Tears, Idle Tears by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Vapor Wear: Krisztina flirts by suggesting her Pimped-Out Dress is like this.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Suskind of Malendia opposed the peace talks due to the two countries having been at war for centuries. Once the Killorans invade and he realises the alliance is worth putting aside old grudges, he instantly pledges his support.