Arrangements For War

Doctor Who:Recovering from witnessing the murder of Cassie at the Forge, Evelyn finds it hard to believe that the Doctor seems to be betraying no sign of emotion whatsoever at recent events. She finally works up the nerve to tell him that she’d like to be set down somewhere for a while to think about whether or not her TARDIS travels should continue. The Doctor decides they should both spend some time on the planet Vilag, where they can experience one of the most peaceful interludes in the planet’s war-torn history, an arranged marriage that ends a war between two nations and leads to a month of serenity…just before an alien invasion tests the new alliance at a terrible cost. Evelyn’s days on Vilag turn into weeks as she befriends Governor Rossiter, whose job is to smooth over any problems in the royal wedding, but when the Doctor gives advice to a lovelorn young man, he unwittingly sets events into motion that could derail that wedding and the subsequent alliance – and the Time Lord begins to wonder if Evelyn’s right, if disaster does follow wherever he goes.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Sutton
directed by Gary Russell
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Maggie Stables (Evelyn), Gabriel Woolf (Governor Rossiter), Philip Bretherton (Plenipotentiary Suskind), Geoffrey Leesley (Paramount Minister Mortund), Katarina Olsson (Princess Krisztina), Lewis Rae (Corporal Reid), Kraig Thornber (Commander Pokol)

Timeline: after Project Lazarus and before Medicinal Purposes

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: An interesting take on what otherwise could’ve been an age-old romance clichè, Arrangements For War is a rather satisfying little story that ties up what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, the “Doctor and Evelyn tension arc” that’s built up over the past several sixth Doctor audios. And a Doctor Whosomewhat more straightforward story structure than Doctor Who and the Pirates‘ narrated framing structure, or Project Lazarus is more than welcome – the time bomb built into the plot adds a great deal of tension to the story, and just about the only science fiction element is an alien invasion that the listener knows is coming right from the start. Everything else, even the moderately fairy-tale element of the arranged marriage, is plausible from a present-day perspective.

Gabriel Woolf once terrorized Tom Baker’s Doctor as the sinister voice of Sutekh in Pyramids Of Mars, but he portrays an altogether more benevolent character here, and does it quite well. The rest of the cast is excellent across the board, and newcomer Steve Foxon breathes some welcome life into the musical score. And as for that story arc? Arrangements has the feel of a season closer for Doctor Who – it wraps things up nicely, though not necessarily pleasantly or easily, and cleans the slate for the next story. Another excellent outing for the sixth Doctor.