(ISBN 1-84435-173-4)






 future. The Somnus

 Foundation knows the

 fate of mankind; they

 promise a tomorrow

 where humanity will

 evolve into a godlike

 form of infinite

 power. They will lead

 us there, to a destiny

 that spans the stars.


 Beneath the towering

 headquarters of the

 Somnus, in the streets

 of Moscow a dark

 power is building, and

 a conspiracy that

 stretches across

 eternity is nearing



 Time is fracturing and

 the Doctor and

 Turlough are at the

 heart of the chaos.

 History is about to

 change ­ and the

 galaxy will burn in

 its wake...


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november 2005







James Swallow’s “Singularity” sees the fifth Doctor and Turlough visit Moscow, the first time in the history of (produced) Doctor Who that our heroes have set foot in Russia. Big Finish have really pulled out all the stops with this one, hiring authentic Russian actors, composing some wonderfully evocative Russian sounding music and even commissioning a rare ‘Tenth Planet’ only cover that shows the Doctor and Turlough braving the Russian climate.


A long time has passed since Marc Platt’s highly regarded play “Loups-Garoux” was released, yet Davison and Strickson pick up from exactly where we left them, somewhere in that ever-decreasing period of time before “Planet of Fire.” I say ‘ever-decreasing’ because Big Finish are doing wonders with Turlough’s character; so much so in fact that the Turlough of “Singularity” is in danger of developing past the point of the Turlough who returned to Trion in “Planet of Fire.” I am not criticising this – “Loups-Garoux” is without a doubt the definitive Turlough story, and “Singularity” continues that the development brilliantly; however, the “boy with the wolf in him” that we leave at the end of this story surely cannot have much distance

left to run before he becomes the Turlough of “Planet of Fire.” In this story he openly discusses Trion, his dark side and his opinions of the Doctor’s heroism, foreshadowing his departure in “Planet of Fire” as a far more mature, far wiser man than the miscreant stray the Doctor picked up in “Mawdryn Undead.”


The main plot of “Singularity” is well conceived and well executed by the writer. Early scenes set around the Somnus Foundation reminded me very strongly of The X-Files, which is certainly no bad thing. There is a lot of intrigue surrounding this mysterious institution, only heightened by its apparent foreknowledge of the Doctor’s arrival. The Somnus Foundation

is revealed to be made up of the last humans in the universe (not Time Lords, as I initially suspected), trying to change their own past by turning the whole of mankind into one giant, god-like gestalt entity in order to preserve the human race. It is quite the crackpot scheme (and it reeks of “Shada”) but in the context of the play it works rather well. In fact, the latter part of the story is incredibly bold, depicting not only the final end of the human race but the impending destruction of the entire universe – “Entropy Tuesday,” as the Doctor whimsically calls it. I also liked some of the more human issues raised in the story – the Russian girl who wants to travel back in time to stop her mercy killing of her Mother, for example, or how the disembodied humans left to die at the end of time in robotic bodies deal with their situation. Compelling stuff.


“Singularity” certainly has a lot going for it, and there is not much not to like. There is a hell of lot going on though, and particularly towards the end of the play one really has to pay attention, but other than that this fifth Doctor and Turlough adventure comes as a real breath of fresh air.


Cold, Russian, fresh air I should imagine.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


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