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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 025 Colditz

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The TARDIS parks Ace and the Seventh Doctor in a POW camp in World War II Germany. Ace is understandably pissed off when they enter what looks like a giant classic mansion, since that's usually a sign of the Doctor wanting to manipulate her with some kind of masterplan. Fortunately, the Doctor has no idea where they are. Unfortunately, they immediately get themselves captured by Nazis, separated, and imprisoned as Prominente: ally spies.


The Doctor baffles everyone with his two hearts, and plays some spoons on the Nazis. Ace, meanwhile, attracts a very nasty character named Feldwebel Kurtz (played by David Tennant!), who tries to get her naked and at his mercy as quickly as possible. He's also very confused by her portable CD player. Luckily for Ace, these are the kind of realistic Nazis who adhere to the Geneva Conventions and don't particularly care for Hitler's master race theory, so she's treated like an actual human being and Kurtz is reprimanded for perving on her.

While Ace conspires with the other English prisoners (she's sure they can escape — she's played the board game and everything), the Doctor meets a very, very nasty Nazi officer named Elizabeth Klein, who tries to steal his TARDIS. He lets her know that no matter how she threatens him, and no matter what her designs on his TARDIS are, she is not in charge and she has no idea what she's messing with.


Klein reveals herself to be from the 1960's — she's travelled to 1944 by TARDIS. The Doctor's future TARDIS. But when she tries to find it again, it's disappeared from where she parked it, and she's stranded in 1944... unless she can appropriate the TARDIS that's now in Nazi hands. The Doctor realises that Klein has absolutely no idea what she's doing, and that her plan to bring the TARDIS into Nazi hands is pointless, since it would have had to be in Nazi hands in the first place for her to get to 1944. Klein counters that with the Doctor now stranded and Ace soon to be dead in a failed escape attempt, the Nazis will have plenty of time to interrogate the Doctor, enabling the Holy German Reich to control the TARDIS in the 1960's. Because in Klein's timeline, the Nazis won the war.

The Doctor really tries his best to explain to Klein that her timeline is not the regular one. She has some trouble coping with this, and accuses the Doctor of being no worse than the Nazis if his idea of a "normal" universe includes erasing the lives of everyone in her own timeline.


Meanwhile, Ace doesn't actually die in her escape attempt, because Kurtz wants to suck up to Klein and decides to let Ace live for that reason. This means that Klein's time travel is already starting to unravel the Web of Time. When Klein reveals that she was only able to pilot the TARDIS with the help of her friend Johann Schmidt, the Doctor finally realises what happened: after being shot and killed by the Nazis in the future, he would have regenerated into the Eighth Doctor, befriended Klein for years, and eventually convinced her to steal the TARDIS from Nazi headquarters and travel back in time. Eight also programmed the TARDIS to vworp off as soon as Klein landed, leaving her stuck. All along, Klein was an unwitting pawn, whose only purpose was to loop back in on her own paradox (which Eight couldn't have done without very seriously upsetting time itself) and undo everything that happened, including the Doctor's own regeneration.

And if the Nazis were never able to control the TARDIS without Eight's help, something else must have led them to win the war... Ace's CD player. Its technology gave the Nazis ''lasers'', which naturally led to the discovery of nuclear power well before its time. Ace is not happy with the realisation that her carelessness enabled a global holocaust.

In the end, Klein manages to do what no one else in the story had so far managed: escape from Colditz castle. (Although this is far from the last the Doctor will see of her). Hauptmann Julius Schäfer — an ally sympathiser — betrays the Nazis and helps the Doctor and Ace escape as well. Kurtz dies a very messy death when the TARDIS vworps off with him stuck in her doors.

Ace, thoroughly traumatised by the whole experience, decides that it's time for her to grow up a bit. She asks the Doctor to start calling her Dorothy.



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