What is the Significance of Big Finish’s Dark Universe?

Seventh Doctor fans look to be in for a treat to help fight the post-Christmas blues come January with the release from Big Finish of Dark Universe, an intriguing-sounding story which will fill in a gap in audio Doctor Who chronology.

We’ll let the pre-release blurb set the scene:

The Eleven has a plan. A grand plan. An appalling plan. A plan that endangers all life in the cosmos.

With Ace working for the enemy, the Doctor must rely on scheming Time Lord Cardinal Ollistra for help. The stage is set for an epic confrontation.

Because the Doctor has a plan to stop the Eleven. A grand plan. An appalling plan. A plan that endangers all life in the cosmos.

Whichever one of them wins, the Dark Universe won’t want to lose…

Yes, the Seventh Doctor is going to meet the Eleven, the Big Finish-created Time Lord villain, memorably played by Mark Bonnar, who retains all the personalities from his previous incarnations – which makes his head space somewhat crowded…

Long-term listeners will recall from the Eleven’s first appearance in the opening of Eighth Doctor epic Doom Coalition that it was the Seventh Doctor who was responsible for imprisoning the unstable menace to the universe. Now, it seems, the full story can be told…

Your appetite will be well and truly whetted by the trailer, which teases a reunion for the Doctor with Ace. In Dark Universe, they’re to be reunited after a 20 year gap and it doesn’t sound like Ace is too happy about it.

A tasty concoction to come in January for audio fans then, and as if that weren’t enough, our friends over at Doctor Who Watch have a pleasing snippet to share about a link to the 1996 TV Movie:

“[O]ne thing that happens in the opening scene in Doom Coalition is that the President has another task for the Seventh Doctor. “A final request”, as it’s described. It’s very subtly implied that this “request” is the Doctor collecting the Master’s remains from Skaro, which leads to his regeneration in The TV Movie. So Dark Universe could very well give us the closest thing to a true final adventure for the Seventh Doctor. It would make the major reunion he has with Ace even more fitting if they stick to that idea.”

Dark Universe is written by Guy Adams and stars Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace, Mark Bonnar as the Eleven, and Carolyn Pickles as Cardinal Ollistra (a role previously played by the late, great Jacqueline Pearce). It will be released by Big Finish in January 2020 and is available to pre-order on their website.