The Sontaran Ordeal (Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume One).

Audio Here we are then, the first complete audio adventure starring a Time War era Eighth Doctor (his cameo in The River Song Diaries accepted) and an indication of who he is by then what he meant in Night of the Doctor when he said "I help where I can." The Eighth Doctor we have here is more or less the figure wandering around The Doom Coalition, albeit with the slightly blase attitude of someone stuck in a horrific situation they didn't create (depending on your view of Genesis of the Daleks) but trying to make the best of it, like one of the surgeons in M*A*S*H* and McGann's clearly thought carefully about how he should tweak his portrayal.  There's a slight bitterness in his tone.  The story itself, a disgraced Sontaran soldier counter-intuitively trying to stop an invasion in order to uphold his race's key statutes is something which could probably have been told with any of the other Doctors in another era, but placing it within the time war adds urgency and impetuous due to the extrapolated line from The Sontaran Stratagem of the "galaxy's greatest warrior race" being frozen out of the largest war in history.  Dan Starkey's on hand to, I think, provide his best ever performance as a Sontaran, breaking through the comic relief slot in which he's usually placed. The presentation of the Time War, of whole histories changing irrevocably over and again is remarkably in sync with the Natural Regression short story in The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who, and again the Doctor meets the tragic consequence of it in a temporary companion, superbly captured by Josette Simon, whose reaction to him is the exact opposite to what we expect.  Placement: The Time War is well under way by now so between River Song and Natural Regression.

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