John Hurt’s War Doctor returns in audio drama Only The Monstrous
John Hurt’s War Doctor takes the fight to the Daleks in audio drama Only The Monstrous.
For all his temporal shenanigans, the greatest trick Steven Moffat ever pulled was unearthing the War Doctor – a disgraced regeneration responsible for ending the Time War. A new four-volume audio drama, starting with Only The Monstrous, tells the story of the War Doctor in the thick of battle – something writer/director Nicholas Briggs and Big Finish have dreamed of doing since Hurt’s scene-stealing turn in “The Day Of The Doctor”.
“It’s such a fantastic idea and I think we feel that we’ve had more of the War Doctor than we actually have,” Briggs says. “My development of the War Doctor’s character really feels like an organic thing, and I knew that John Hurt would bring his inimitable delivery and approach to it.”
With both the Daleks and the Time Lords resorting to inhumane measures to avoid extinction, the series will naturally deal in murky waters. “There’s a Time Lord character played by Jacqueline Pearce called Cardinal Ollistra, and she really is the embodiment of the shades of grey in the whole Time Lord war effort,” Briggs says. “Because of course war always throws up this appalling dilemma to which there is no answer – that in order to wage total war you end up abandoning the principles that you’re allegedly fighting for.”
But it turns out even the Doctor’s darkest incarnation can be taken too far. “There are strict BBC guidelines about what we can and can’t do with him,” Briggs says. “Even though he is supposed to be steeped in blood and have committed some of the worst crimes of the Time War we obviously can’t have him going around murdering people. But at the same time we have a responsibility to him being someone who has denied the identity of the Doctor.”
Only The Monstrous is released on 10 December.