Echoes of War (audio story)

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Echoes of War was the second story in the audio anthology The Eighth Doctor: Time War: Volume One, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Rakhee Thakrar as Bliss, Jacqueline Pearce as Cardinal Ollistra and introduced Karina Fernandez as Captain Tamasan.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

Colliding with the full force of the Time War, the Doctor crash-lands on a jungle world with a ragtag band of refugees.

To stay alive, they must cross a landscape where time itself is corrupted. A forest which cycles through growth and decay, where sounds of battle are never far away, and where strange creatures lurk all around.

Luckily, the Doctor has friends: not only plucky scientist Bliss but another, much more unlikely ally. Its name is "Dal"...


A Dalek, damaged and barely able to talk, tries to tell the Doctor, Bliss, Rupa, Quarren, Jefferson and the refugees not to move, but time distortion occurs and they escape back into the Dalek ship as the Dalek wails in pain and the area around them withers. The Doctor diverts the remaining power to the shields to keep the Dalek out and Bliss uses the scanners, finding that the Theseus has been destroyed and that the jungle outside is in flux.

When the temporal disruption stabilises, the Doctor does one last scan with the remaining power and Bliss goes outside with the Maguires and find that the rainforest seems to have aged a thousand years in two minutes and that the Dalek is dead. Rupa believes that there is something alive out there, however.

The ship loses the last of its power, the Doctor having used it to identify that they are in the Time War and that a weapon used on this planet is scrambling time and reality, preventing technology such as his sonic screwdriver from working as it should. He was able to find a less-affected area a few miles away where they will be safer and wonders if his TARDIS might be in the wreckage of the Theseus.

The group strip the ship of useful technology and prepare for the journey to the safe zone. The Doctor feels another wave of temporal disruption and they watch as the jungle grows, dies and regrows over and over again. They hear a gunshot in the direction that they are heading and the Doctor and Bliss go ahead to investigate, seeing an army of phantoms which fade away because of the fragmentation of time. The sonic screwdriver picks up a trace which confirms that the TARDIS is on this planet.

The Dalek is alive, but unaware of what and where it is. The Doctor introduces himself as a friend and tells him about the crash, the temporal disruption and the safe zone, the existence of which the Dalek confirms. The Dalek leads them there and helps them avoid pockets of time corruption. The Doctor is surprised by Bliss' knowledge of these concepts and learns that she is a Luna University postgrad in Applied Quantum Astrotech who was on a field trip on Titan. When Quarren almost says the word "Dalek", the Doctor hurriedly tells the Dalek that its name is "Dal", not wanting to jog any memories as it remembers nothing from before awakening here.

Dark, furry figures from the jungle kidnap Jefferson before vanishing. However, a ghost-like Jefferson appears, looking as though he has been shot and aged weeks or months, and becomes solid before dying. The Doctor apologises to him and, as his sonic screwdriver is unable to tell him anything, he gets Dal to analyse the body. Dal finds that Jefferson was affected by chronon dispersal and transfers his data to the sonic screwdriver, allowing the Doctor to identify the temporal threat as Now Devourers, microscopic organisms which destroy the concept of linear time.

Rupa is distressed at having seen what happened to Jefferson and is angry with both the Time Lords and the Daleks. The group hear echoes of battles as they journey and Dal remembers his kind, but the Doctor tries to convince him that the phantom Daleks are insane in order to keep him from reverting to his old self. The creatures attack and Dal leads the refugees to the safe zone whilst the Doctor is surrounded and taken away. Bliss notices that the area they have come to does not seem to be affected by the temporal disruption and the group go to a clearing, finding wreckage of the Theseus beneath which Dal detects vital technology. The group unearth the TARDIS, which Quarren opens and finds empty. It is familiar to Dal.

Bliss, who has effectively been put in charge by Dal, decides that they will rest before continuing the journey to the safe zone with the TARDIS in tow on a makeshift hovering device. Dal asks about the phantom Daleks and says that they will have no rest, afraid that he will become like them if he does not get to the safe zone. Bliss tells Quarren and Rupa that she was on the Theseus because she thought that it would be a good idea to measure quantum fluctuations in a temporal warzone and she does not know for sure what happened to the rest of her cohort. The Maguires were aboard on a tour of the galaxy after Quarren made a number of good investments.

As the group approach the safe zone, they are again attacked and Dal exterminates the hostiles, but not before Rupa and half of the group is taken. Dal sees that he has purpose beyond survival now: the extermination of enemies, but Bliss reminds him of what the Doctor said about not becoming like the rest of his kind. Dal is aware that there is a connection between a doctor and a blue box, although he is unsure of what it is and Bliss and Quarren are worried that he will become a normal Dalek once they reach the safe zone.

The group reach what seems to be a misty swamp where Dal is pained with confusion, becoming dormant once again. Rupa emerges from the mist and explains that the creatures are the natives of this jungle, evolved and mutated, and takes them into the safe zone where the Doctor is. He is happy to see his TARDIS and sees that it is recuperating and will soon be able to take them away, asking Quarren and Rupa to keep an eye on it whilst he and Bliss go to speak with the awoken Dal on the edge of the safe zone. Dal is remembering everything, so the Doctor asks him to reboot his systems and base any future decisions on his recent experiences, a request which he finds logical.

The mists clear and the Daleks descend. Cardinal Ollistra is informed that the plan to attract all Dalek saucers in the sector to that planet using advanced TARDIS regiments has been successful; she orders the new Battle TARDISes to be deployed and for time torpedoes to be used to draw the enemy to the surface, where ground troops will be transmatted to attack them. She has Captain Tamasan take her to the safe zone, having Commander Braelyn round up the Doctor's group. The Doctor and Bliss try to save Dal, reminding him that they are his friends, but Tamasan shoots and destroys him and takes Bliss with the rest of the group.

The Doctor is angry at Ollistra for bringing the Time War back to this planet, but she reveals that this is the first battle to happen here. She has Braelyn secure the group for internment and vetting, which the Doctor plans to save them from, and says that she will see him on Tenacity. The Now Devourers are released and the Doctor taken aboard Ollistra's Battle TARDIS with his TARDIS to undergo frontline training to fight in the war.

On the planet's surface, the Time Lords and Daleks fight.




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