Big Finish announces more Jacobi vs McGann

Sir Derek Jacobi and Paul McGann

Big Finish has announced details of two new boxsets featuring Sir Derek Jacobi’s War Master vs Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor back in the Time War. Releases are scheduled for October 2020 and August 2021. Full details below.

Meanwhile, back in the Time War

The press announcement from Big Finish is:

Watch out, peoples of the universe! The most deadly incarnation of Gallifrey’s most notorious renegade Time Lord is all set for eight new and terrifying adventures in the Time War.  

Sir Derek Jacobi returns as the War Master in two new volumes of full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish, and must first face his arch-enemy, the Doctor, in the shape of Paul McGann.  

Sent on a mission by the Time Lords, the War Master hurtles toward his destiny and will ultimately learn more about his nemesis than ever before…  

The War Master: Hearts of Darkness is due for release in October 2020, and is now available for pre-order as a collector’s edition four-disc box set (on CD at £24.99) and as a digital download (at £19.99), exclusively from   

“Find the Doctor… stop the Doctor… and, if necessary, kill the Doctor!” 

Recruited by the Celestial Intervention Agency to track down his oldest enemy, the Master finds himself thrown into a mission that will take him into deepest Dalek territory. 

Abandoned on the planet Redemption, he assembles a crew and acquires a ship – the journey that follows is certain to test them all… and not everyone will survive. 

But space pirates and living corpses are the least of their worries. Their biggest threat remains at large: a Time Lord who likes to call himself ‘the Doctor’. 

Also starring alongside Sir Derek Jacobi and Paul McGann in volume five are Seán Carlsen (Narvin), George Fletcher (Grondak), Sam Hallion (Kriket), Sandra Huggett (Dorada), Alex Jordan (Domdaniel Computer), Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo (The Scaramancer), Colin McFarlane (Morski), Tanya Moodie (Kilda), Henry Nott (Dieter), Julia Sandiford (Ilya), and Amanda Shodeko (Meri). 

The four adventures in volume five, The War Master: Hearts of Darkness are as follows:  

The Edge of Redemption by David Llewellyn 

The Scaramancer by Lisa McMullin 

The Castle of Kurnos 5 by David Llewellyn 

The Cognition Shift by Lisa McMullin 

Producer, Scott Handcock said:

“I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done on The War Master series to date, so it’s a greater thrill to be able to reunite with Derek and tell even more stories with his particular incarnation across two brand-new box sets. Speaking of reunions, he’ll be encountering a few familiar faces along the way! 

“Volume 5: Hearts of Darkness, sees the Master pitted once again against the Eighth Doctor! It’s an epic four-disc tale, written by David Llewellyn and Lisa McMullin, with the Master recruited by the Celestial Intervention Agency to track the Doctor down in deepest enemy territory. It goes without saying that working with Derek and Paul individually is always a pleasure but watching them fire off one another in studio is extra special.” 

The series continues with volume six, The War Master: Killing Time, featuring the following exciting new stories, due for release in August 2021:  

The Sincerest Form of Flattery by James Goss 

A Quiet Night In by Lou Morgan 

The Orphan by Lou Morgan 

Unfinished Business by James Goss 

Producer, Scott Handcock added:

“Volume 6: Killing Time finds the Master struggling to seize command of an empire… and features a couple more faces familiar to fans of the classic era of Doctor Who. But that’s all I’m saying for now! They’re four beautiful, character-driven scripts from James Goss and Lou Morgan that use horror and humour in equal measure. I can’t wait to reveal more!” 

More story details, photos, clips and cover artwork will be revealed nearer to the release date.  

The War Master: Hearts of Darkness and The War Master: Killing Time are each now available for pre-order as collector’s edition four-disc box sets (on CD at £24.99) and as digital downloads (at £19.99), exclusively from the Big Finish website.  

Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering a bundle of both forthcoming volumes of The War Master series for £48 as collector’s edition box sets or £39 as digital downloads.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrew Herlan says:

    As much as I love Derek Jacobi, this is a big “What the Hell?” for me.

    In Utopia, we meet an elderly Professor Yana(Derek jacobi).

    Some quotes from said episode:

    YANA: Well, even my title is an affectation. There hasn’t been such a thing as a university for over a thousand years. I’ve spent my life going from one refugee ship to another.

    YANA: It’s just a headache. It’s just, just noise inside my head, Doctor. Constant noise inside my head.
    DOCTOR: What sort of noise?
    YANA: It’s the sound of drums. More and more, as though it’s getting closer.
    DOCTOR: When did it start?
    YANA: Oh, I’ve had it all my life. Every waking hour. Still, no rest for the wicked.

    And then, the big kicker..

    MARTHA: Can I have a look at that?
    YANA: Oh, it’s only an old relic. Like me.
    MARTHA: Where did you get it?
    YANA: Hmm? I was found with it.
    MARTHA: What do you mean?
    YANA: An orphan in the storm. I was a naked child found on the coast of the Silver Devastation. Abandoned, with only this.

    Yes, a “naked child”. The watch, of course, is a chameleon arch. And, when broken, Yana is revealed to be the Master. But..

    He was found as a naked CHILD with the watch. He has “spent his life going from one refugee ship to another”. In other words, Yana aged from a child to the older Jacobi with the watch.

    As we know, the Master ran away from the Time War, and then regenerated, and chameleion’d himself.


    Now, it makes sense that Derek Jacobi was the actor who appeared in the television series Doctor Who. Derek Jacobi is one of the greatest actors of his generation, or any generation for that matter. Derek Jacobi had already had his time as the Master cut short before when the adventures of the ‘Shalka’ Doctor were abruptly ended.


    As good as these stories may or may not be, they are 100% discontinuous with the television story Doctor Who.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Jones says:

      Thanks for dropping by and making such a well-reasoned observation. Hmmm…


  2. Andy Herlan says:

    Another thought reading this…

    What if “The Sincerest Form of Flattery” has Big Finish’s own ‘War Chief’? After all, the Master is a perfect imitation of the ‘War Chief’. Or is it the other way around???

    They have identical histories, use the same methods etc. So, either one is imitating the other, one is a clone of the other, they’re identical twins, or maybe, just maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Jones says:

      We’ll have to wait and find out. Nice idea


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