Day of the Vashta Nerada (Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume Two).

Audio  One of the knock on effects of featuring an Eighth Doctor adventure set during Time War within these mash-up box sets is that has greater import than the other three stories due to shining a light on a period in the Time Lord's history for which we so far have scant knowledge. The other three tales are entertaining but pretty typical fill-in fare, whereas Day of the Vashta Nerada actually adds to the mythology of the character, not least because this is Big Finish marking out its own territory.  We now have an even greater understanding of how the Doctor is able to continue on the fringes of the conflict even though Gallifrey is desperate for him to become involve despite the whole business being an anathema to him (paralleling nicely with a much earlier intergalactic war portrayed in the Fifth Doctor story).  Similarly we appreciate the extent to which the morality of the Time Lords has been weakened to the point that the difference between them and the Daleks is entirely grey.  All of which is background to an otherwise pretty traditional base under siege piece with the Doctor leading a group of people through a complex fighting various genetic mutations of Vashta Nerada, each more deadly than the last, connected lightly to the earlier story in the box with Fourth.  Having not heard the War Doctor boxes, I know that there'll be some elements I'm missing, the significance of Jacqueline Pearce's Cardinal and whatnot and it'll be interesting to see how that also effects my enjoyment of the upcoming Time War series.  McGann's found a tone for this Eighth which has the years on him, a slight element of exhaustion undercutting the adventure seeker of old.  He's just putting off the inevitable; the War Doctor is close.  Placement:  Pretty late, I'd say, between The Sontaran Ordeal and his regeneration.  We'll see if this changes once the boxed sets are released.

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