Follow TV Tropes


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

Go To
"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.


  • Actor Allusion: The First and Second Doctors 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 the Eighth Doctor they're not on Earth.
  • Ambiguous Robots: The Vess.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When Ace finds it weird meeting the Sixth Doctor, the Seventh Doctor says she should be used to weird by now.
  • Arms Dealer: The Vess are a race of these.
  • Bat Deduction: The Fourth Doctor 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: The Seventh Doctor 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 the Seventh Doctor are beset upon by one.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The Master has a chance to kill the Fourth and Eighth Doctors, twice, but wants to see his original plan go through.
  • Call-Back:
  • Call-Forward: This won't be the last time Charley encounters "phantoms" on the TARDIS.
  • The Cameo: Several other companions briefly appear in the TARDIS because of the time distortion, even though they aren't the ones travelling with their respective Doctors during this story. Among them are Susan, Sara Kingdom, Zoe, Jo, Tegan and Turlough.
  • Cargo Ship: In-Universe Charley pokes fun at the Eighth Doctor for "caressing" the TARDIS.
  • Catchphrase:
    The Master: I am the Master... And you will obey me.
  • Creepy Dollhouse: After the Master kills Bob Dovie's family, they're in the dollhouse. What remains of them, anyway.
  • 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! Fortunately, the First Doctor opts for the more pragmatic option of hitting the Reset Button, rather than allowing himself and his future incarnations to resort to murder.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Straxus of the Eighth Doctor audios makes an appearance, appearing only to the Sixth Doctor.
  • Eureka Moment: The Fifth Doctor has one when he and the Sixth and Seventh Doctors 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.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Fourth and Eighth Doctors decide because of an oncoming Time Crash they'd better get the Time Lords straight away.
  • Hand Wave: The reason why the Sixth Doctor is only able to materialize the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors and not the others is because of "phasing at the edges" of the stabilization field he created.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: The Eighth Doctor describes the Sixth Doctor as "a matter of taste" when the Fourth Doctor sees the coat.
  • Ironic Nickname: The Eighth Doctor mentions most people mistake his costume as being styled after Lord Byron. When Ace gives each Doctor a nickname, guess what name Ace gives him?
  • It's All About Me: Applies to both the Agency and the Master; Straxus saw no problem letting the Master take one weapon to try and kill the Doctor so long as he left their plans alone, and the Master is unconcerned about the universal consequences of preventing the Doctor from leaving Gallifrey in the first place.
  • 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. Although 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.
  • Just Between You and Me: Invoked and exploited. The Fourth and Eighth Doctors 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 Celestial Intervention Agency.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • The First Doctor's attempt to warn the other Doctors away from 1963 ends up bringing them there in the first place.
    • Depending on the perspective of Straxus's actions, anyway; he was intending to prepare Gallifrey for a future war, but concedes that letting the Master take an unknown advanced weapon to try and assassinate the Doctor wasn't the best move.
  • The Nicknamer: Ace gives nicknames to all of the Doctors.
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: Bob has one that belongs to his child.
  • Other Me Annoys Me:
    • Subverted with the Eighth and Fourth Doctors, who are very courteous with one another, with the Eighth complimenting the scarf. The Sixth Doctor also finds the Seventh Doctor a "charming fellow", indicating this takes place before "The Sirens of Time".
    • Played straight with the Second and Third Doctors, though, continuing from their previous meetings. Also the First Doctor, who outright snarls at the Second and Third to stop their constant squabbling and focus on the task at hand.
  • Plant Aliens: The three legged beings the Eighth Doctor 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 Second Doctor with Polly, Ben, and then again with Jamie and Zoe, Tegan and Turlough, before ending up in front of the Fourth Doctor 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: Two big fat one are pushed; first the Fifth Doctor goes back and ensures that Bob will accept the existence of the TARDIS, and then the First Doctor 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, the Eighth Doctor 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, to the extent that the Fifth Doctor is the one directly erased by the Master's weapon, but by the time they manage to fight back the Fourth and Eighth Doctors have been 'lost' while the Sixth and Seventh have just lost their companions. To further complicate things, the only reason any of the Doctors end up in said Pocket Dimension is because of a flashing red light on the console; said light was caused by an explosion contained into a single point, designed to be a warning to prevent any of the Doctors from landing in 1963. The Fifth Doctor, distrustful of the light, manages to avoid falling into the pocket dimension... and ends up allowing the circumstances to set up the explosion to begin with!
  • 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 dollhouse 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.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: