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147j 'Arrangements for War'

CD audio adventure released May 2004, 4 episodes

Writers: Paul Sutton
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Some place names are Hungarian - 'Vilag' means 'world', and princess Krisztina is named after the author's wife. The Doctor recites from Tennyson's The Palace of Art ("pull not down my palace towers...") and The Princess canto IV ("tears, from the depths of some divine despair...") He refers to his "old friend" Erwin Schrodinger's theory of observation (aka Schrodinger's Cat) and quotes Lou Reed ("our little Walk on the Wild Side").

Intertextuality: The Killorans first appeared in the Bernice Summerfield Adventures as well as the Gallifrey audios Lies and Pandora.

Fluffs: "The fighting will shtop"

Double Entendres: "Will I have the honour of your escort, governor?"

"He will attend to you in the carriage during the procession through the city"

"Hey - young man! Would you cease doing that? You're scaring the fish!"

Evelyn, crying: "I seem to be doing this a little too often these days"

Continuity: The planet Vilag has a single land mass divided into three countries. The two major superpowers, Galen and Malendia have been at war for over a century. The proposed union of superpowers (a marriage between Princess Krisztina of Galen and Prince Victor of Malendia) lasts less than two months. The third country, the coastal province of Kozepen is an hour behind Galen and governed by a man called Rossiter. Its police are armed with stun-batons called 'charge sticks' and what sound like energy weapons. Transport includes cars, trains and aircraft (including commercial air transport). Galen's palace has bunkers, built by Kristina's grandfather. The flowers in its botanical garden make music as one passes (the Doctor thinks this is probably unique). It also contains thermal baths which were closed to the public for several years.

Inferring from Susskind's reaction to the Doctor in episode three the planet is not ignorant of extraterrestrial life, but knows of no significant 'third party' which might threaten them; therefore the Killoran invasion comes at them completely out of the blue. The Killorans attack Malendia first, razing the northern sectors with strafing fire from aerial craft, followed by a ground assault.

Evelyn lectures at Sheffield Hallam University. She uses Avon night cream. She had a sister called Mary, who was her late mother's favourite. Her childhood family nickname was 'Evey'. Having travelled with the Doctor for some time she has picked up some of the operations of the TARDIS and successfully 'derails' a voyage by some years (but does not affect the geographical target)

The Doctor describes the Eye of Orion as not unlike the English south downs (with not as many sheep).

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor has run into the Killorans 'once or twice' before. He counts Schrodinger as an old friend (in Blink he claims to have met Schrodinger's cat)

Location: The planet Vilag, over the course of three to four weeks

Links: This story immediately follows Project: Lazarus. Thicker Than Water. The Eye of Orion (various stories). The Doctor recalls meeting his successor "small type with an odd accent - not looking forward to that..." (Project: Lazarus). Evelyn speaks of the death of Cassie from the aforementioned story, while the Doctor refers, obliquely, to Peri. Evelyn's heart condition is mentioned (Project: Lazarus et al) and the Doctor uses his respiratory bypass system (The Pyramids of Mars). When Evelyn tells Rossiter that she's recently seen two young people die needlessly, she is presumably referring to Jem in Doctor Who and The Pirates. According to the story's cover the Doctor is wearing the blue suit that was introduced in Real Time.

The Bottom Line: "I can't win all the time".

All's fair in love and war. A story in which two of three cliffhangers are declarations of love. Its central premise that - in the words of the Doctor, no less, 'sometimes things come along that are bigger than we are' is a fitting one, and kudos to Big Finish for tackling such a broad-sweeping idea. Perhaps, however the necessary casting limits and economy of storytelling work against it this time (Gary Russell's voice is almost as recognisable as Nick Briggs'), and while the idea of exposition by public broadcast is sound, perhaps we could have seen (or heard) a little more action along the way. Brave, unconventional and very touching. On the other hand, after the misery and bloodshed of Project: Lazarus (which feeds implicitly into this story), the listeners could have done with more levity?

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