After the triumph that was the previous Big Finish Eighth Doctor adventure, Lucie Miller, I was resigned to the fact that this one was never going to live up to it.
For the first third of this story, I thought I was correct in thinking this, but as the plot unfolds and things take a decidedly dark turn I realised I was wrong. Oh boy was a wrong!
As always, I will not be doing any spoilers, which in a way makes it very difficult to talk about this story- more so than usual. All I can say is that things happen and they are genuinely shocking.
Put it this way… one of the biggest weaknesses to long running sci-fi shows or action movies is that no matter how much jeopardy the lead characters are put in, you know that by the end of the episode or the movie everyone will still be okay and the status quo will be returned.
I really really enjoyed this. The previous episode promised a lot, and boy does it deliver it here. There is a colossal amount of stuff going on, as plot threads that have been woven through the last year of adventures come to fruition in ways that are most unexpected. And I don’t mind admitting that I had a tear in my eye on more than one occasion.
As I have said in reviews before- I enjoy being surprised (in a good way) and To the Death does more than surprises the listener- it genuinely shocks them.
This is, I think, absolutely essential listening.
And special note must be made of the final line. It is quite brilliant, very moving, and is one that echoes beautifully down the decades (or centuries) of Who history.