(ISBN 1-84435-095-9)




 Onboard the TARDIS,

 nerves are strained.


 After escaping the

 Forge and the

 murderous clutches

 of Nimrod, the Doctor

 and Evelyn have

 things to talk about.

 The Doctor's attitude

 towards death is a

 subject that these

 days is too close to

 Evelyn's heart, and

 eventually she

 demands to be set

 down somewhere

 where she can be free

 of him for a while.


 And so they come to

 Világ, where the

 Doctor's meddling

 lands him in the

 middle of a truly

 dangerous liaison

 and Evelyn meets a

 man who wants to

 change the course of

 her life forever.


 Love is everywhere.

 But then war is too.


 Is it time for Evelyn

 to leave the Doctor?

 Or is the choice about

 to be taken out of her



 And who is to say

 what is the beginning

 and what is the end

 of love?


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT



For War

may 2004







“Arrangements For War” has been a long time coming. After the events of the first two parts of “Project: Lazarus”, I was desperate to see how the Doctor and Evelyn would reconcile their friendship – if indeed, they would at all – and how Evelyn’s heart condition would be dealt with. I am happy to say that the year-long wait was worth it. Despite Gary Russell’s intention to make it a “Mills and Boon-style gentle romance,” Paul Sutton’s “Arrangements For War” is magnificent in every respect – the perfect coda to the events depicted in the first two parts of “Project: Lazarus.”


Enraged by the Doctor apparent lack of grief for Cassie’s horrific death, Evelyn asks the Doctor to take her somewhere that she can be alone. The Doctor takes her to the planet Világ where an arranged marriage is about to cement an alliance between neighbouring countries – an alliance which will make the people of Világ strong enough to fight off the (unbeknownst to them) impending invasion of a vicious canine race, the Killorans.


“Is it time for Evelyn to leave the Doctor?”


Thankfully not, but were Evelyn to part company with the Doctor (for the sake of continuity, alas, I suppose at some point she must) then this story would have been the ideal vehicle for her to do so. Over the course of the four episodes she is wooed by Gabriel Woolf’s character, Governor Justice Rossiter, and the old romantic in me would have been happy to see her settle down on Világ with him and live happily ever after… at least until her heart gives out, that is.


The second romance of “Arrangements For War” is much more tradititional than the Evelyn / Rossiter tryst, but it is every bit as poignant, if not more so. Lewis Rae as Corporal Reid and particularly Katarina Olsson as the beautiful Princess Krisztina both manage to imbue their melodramatic Romeo and Juliet storyline with as much real emotion as possible. Moreover, the Doctor’s involvement in their affair is a great device to have him confront the issues that are plaguing him – the grief that he does feel (he just keeps it bottled up) at Cassie’s death and his apparent inability not to interfere with other people’s lives.


The play’s conclusion is a wonderful payoff to all the tension that has been building between the two leads over the past few stories, and the dramatic effect of the Doctor deciding to break all the laws of time and go back to change recent events demonstrates just how much things have been building up inside of him. He would not even go back in time to save Adric; Sara; or Katarina, yet he will to save a Princess and her lover that he does not know half as well. Evelyn’s decision to stop him doing so is equally important; she herself having realised that there are things that are more important than life and death.


I thought that the final scene in particular was a masterstroke by Sutton; the Doctor and Evelyn sat beside a river on Világ in the past, watching two young lovers (not in a perverted way, obviously) enjoy their lives… lives that the Doctor and Evelyn both know will be cut tragically short. I was not too sure about the ‘cuddle’ though, but I suppose under the circumstances…


“Arrangements For War” deals with the emotional damage of “Project: Lazarus” in an interesting and thoroughly entertaining way, and whilst this story has one or two flaws (the rather feeble Killoran threat, for example) it is certainly the best play that Big Finish have

released this year by a mile, and perhaps - just perhaps - one of the best that they released to date. It is certainly amongst my favourites.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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