This release is something slightly different; according to Doctor Who Magazine, Time In Office is an anthology release, following the Fifth Doctor’s time in office as President of Gallifrey. Each of the fourth parts focusses on a different period in this point of the Doctor’s history, and today I’ll be reviewing the final part, Architect of Destruction.
The Doctor’s adventures in time and space are over. The Time Lords have recalled him to Gallifrey – but what he faces on his home planet is worse than any trial. Following the disappearance of President Borusa, the High Council condemned him to the highest office – and he can’t evade his responsibilities a nanosecond longer…
So all hail the Lord High President! All hail President Doctor!
Rassilon save him. This time, there’s really no escape.
The last story in Time In Office and the Doctor is well and truly involved in Time Lord society now; the President of Gallifrey is honestly being presidential. The Doctor, Tegan and Leela are all being lead around a new Time Lord installation; a new building to accommodate one of the Doctor’s new policies.
Considering that, within the first minutes, the Doctor seems to be almost enjoying his Presidency, it’s not long before he’s back to goofing around and annoying the “proper” officials of Gallifrey with his tomfoolery.
Meanwhile, Tegan is getting lost in a maze of a building; it seems as if the walls are shifting to separate the Doctor from his comrades. It’s almost like Doctor Who meets the Grand Staircase from Harry Potter. Everything is constantly shifting and changing, and after the events at the end of History Repeating, you can’t help but wonder if it’s connected.
There’s a revelation at around halfway through this episode that is genuinely, and I don’t say this lightly, lore-changing for Doctor Who. I hope you class Big Finish as canonical, because it’s absolutely amazing. The new Capitol building isn’t all that it seems to be; it’s so much more.
The conclusion of Architect of Destruction is a bit wish-wash, if I’m being perfectly honest. It was enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but compared to the previous three episodes in Time In Office, it felt like a bit of a miss. It’s a shame though, because the concept was really interesting and it ended a thoroughly enjoyable release.
Overall, Time in Office is one of the most fun Big Finish releases we’ve had in a long time; and it was great to get a lighter side of both the Fifth Doctor and Gallifreyan society. Whilst adding to the lore of the planet, it also satirised the political landscape of the western world at the moment, and Eddie Robson did a sterling job.
Should you want to purchase Time In Office, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £14.99 on CD or £12.99 for a digital download for a limited time.