Recap: Big Finish Doctor Who Specials The Light At The End

"Do come out to play, Doctor. I'm waiting for you..."

The great Milestone Celebration of Doctor Who and Big Finish does it in style, involving Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann as their respective Doctors alongside the Master and the first three Doctors in a Batfamily Crossover.

It's November 23rd, 1963 and a man by the name of Bob Dovie is playing with his son, Kevin, as a police box smashes into their house (and takes out their chimney). Little does he know that this series of events is going to embroil him as a pivotal part of a much larger scheme…

It's also a day that sets in motion a catastrophic chain of events which forces the first eight incarnations of the Doctor to fight for their very existence. As a mysterious, insidious chaos unfolds within the TARDIS, the barriers of time break apart…

From suburban England through war-torn alien landscapes and into a deadly, artificial dimension, all these Doctors and their companions must struggle against the power of an unfathomable, alien technology.

From the very beginning, it is clear that the Master is somehow involved. By the end, for the Doctors, there may only be darkness.

Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: 1 and 2 are played by two former companions, William Russell (who played Ian Chesterton) and Frazer Hines (who played Jamie McCrimmon).
  • Alien Sky: What shows Charley and 8 they're not on Earth.
  • Ambiguous Robots: The Vess.
  • Arbitrary Scepticism: When Ace finds it weird meeting 6, 7 says she should be used to weird by now.
  • Arms Dealer: The Vess are a race of these.
  • Bat Deduction: 4 manages to deduce Charley is from the future without any knowledge aside from her appearing in the TARDIS, merely because he doesn't remember her.
  • Batman Gambit: How The Master got the Conceptual bomb into the TARDIS, and which set the plot in motion.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: 7 and Ace end up in an area filled with CCTV's.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Exploited. The Master makes the ever-recurring moment of a human being freaked out about the spacial impossibility of the TARDIS the trigger for the conceptual bomb.
  • Blob Monster: Ace and 7 are beset upon by one.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The Master has a chance to kill 4 and 8, twice, but wants to see his original plan go through.
  • Call Back / Continuity Porn:
  • Call Forward: This won't be the last time Charley encounters "phantoms" on the TARDIS.
  • Cargo Ship: In-Universe Charley pokes fun at 8 for "caressing" the TARDIS.
  • Catch Phrase:
    The Master: I am the Master... And you will obey me.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Master's attempt to erase the Doctor's TARDIS from existence is all to prevent the Doctor from leaving Gallifrey and being a thorn in his side. When this fails, the Master's TARDIS detects something in the Vortex. What does he find? EIGHT TARDISes in the vortex, ready to materialize and time ram him beyond oblivion!
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Straxus of the Eighth Doctor audios makes an appearance, appearing only to the Sixth Doctor.
  • Eureka Moment: 5 has one when he, 6 and 7 are travelling from the Big Bang back into the Pocket Dimension.
  • For the Evulz: The Master kills Bob Dovie's family by shrinking them. It was in no way necessary for his plan.
  • Genre Savvy: Both 6 and 5 recognise the light on the console, and the coordinates it sprung from, as spelling nothing but trouble. They fail to avoid said trouble, but their experiences come in handy later...
  • Godzilla Threshold: 4 and 8 decide because of an oncoming Time Crash they'd better get the Time Lords straight away.
  • Hand Wave: The reason why 6 is only able to materialize 4, 5, 7 and 8 and not the others is because of "phasing at the edges" of the stabalization field he created.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) as the Second Doctor.
  • Kick the Dog: The Master removes several of the Doctor's companions out of (presumably) existence just to mess with the Doctor before he dies. He also kills Bob Dovie's family for no given reason.
    • Technically the companions disappear because as a result of the conceptual bomb destorying the TARDIS in no set temporal order, they never would have met The Doctor and therefore would never be traveling with him.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: 8 describes 6 as "A matter of taste" when 4 sees the coat.
  • Just Between You and Me: Invoked and exploited. 4 and 8 manage to get a crucial bit of the puzzle to figure out the Master's plan by stroking his ego a bit. Hearing their praises, the Master just can't help himself and lets himself get utterly carried away for a moment as he describes his brilliant plan in detail.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The CIA.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: 1's attempt to warn the other Doctors away from 1963 ends up bringing them there.
  • The Nicknamer: Ace gives nicknames to all of the Doctors.
    • Ironic Nickname: 8 mentions most people mistake his costume as being styled after Lord Byron. Guess what name Ace gives him?
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: Bob has one of his kids'.
  • The Other Darrin: The first three Doctors are only heard through distorting timefield, but actually get spoken lines. With 2 being done by Frazer Hines and 1 by William Russell (both reprising their roles from the Companion Chronicles). Three is played by Tim Treloar, who makes his debut in the role.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Subverted Trope with 8 and 4, who are very courteous with one another, with 8 complimenting the scarf. 6 also finds 7 a "Charming fellow", indicating this takes place before "The Sirens of Time".
    • Played straight with 2 and 3, though, continuing from their previous meetings. Also 1, who outright snarls at 2 and 3 to stop their constant squabbling and focus on the task at hand.
  • Plant Aliens: The three legged beings 8 and Charley initially encounter.
  • Pocket Dimension: Which is only accessible by going to the 23rd of November 1963, three minutes past five PM, Totton.
  • Portal to the Past: When Charley gets back into the TARDIS she sees several of the Doctor's companions and incarnations through the years, including the 2 with Polly, Ben, and then again with Jamie and Zoe, Tegan and Turlough, before ending up in front of 4 and Leela.
  • Puff of Logic: The Master's plan to wipe the TARDIS from history by having Bob say "But that's not possible!"
  • Pun: A "Master" stroke.
  • Red Alert: There is a red flashing light on the TARDIS console (in several time periods at once) that wasn't there before.
  • Reset Button: A big fat one is pushed at the end, undoing the events of the story.
    • Two, in fact. First the 5 goes back and ensures that Bob will accept the existence of the TARDIS, and then 1 doesn't create the warning light that sent everyone back in the first place.
  • Ret Gone: The Master's ultimate plan for the Doctor by proxy by deleting his TARDIS.
  • Shout-Out
  • Special Edition Title: The opening theme is a remix of several Doctor Who intro themes, including the TV Movie's orchestrated edition.
  • Take That Me: When stumbling on a TARDIS disguised as a tank, 8 mentions it couldn't be his because none of them ever got to fix the chameleon-circuit.
  • Temporal Paradox: Due to the Time Crash nature of the Pocket Dimension what happens in the Doctor's past doesn't directly influence his future.
  • Tested on Humans: The Vess for the weapons demonstration may not use humans but they use living things, plant-like aliens.
  • Time Crash: Time is folding in on itself. Specifically, the TARDIS'.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Master has yet to meet Nyssa, so this version is from before "The Keeper of Traken".
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Master has a good one.
  • Weirdness Censor: Bob Dovie has one superimposed over himself so he doesn't realize things like broken phones. Or that the dolls in the dollshouse look a lot like his family.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Happens to each Doctor in the restored timeline... some more poignantly than others.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Oh Five!
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Master.