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: