A group of Doctor Who fans have got together to produce their interpretation of what would have been the original finale to Jon Pertwee’s fifth season: The Final Game.
The Final Game was a story devised by Robert Sloman who, with producer Barry Letts, had already co-written The Daemons, The Time Monster, and The Green Death. The story as intended was for the Doctor to face up to the Master one final time, for the arch-fiend to be revealed as either the Doctor’s brother or a synthesis of his darker personality traits, and for him to then sacrifice himself to save our hero.
Very sadly, the story was shelved when actor Roger Delgado – the definitive Master – was killed in a car crash in Turkey in 1973 while working on a miniseries, La Cloche Tibétaine (The Tibetan Bell). Jon Pertwee would later remark that the death of Delgado, with whom he had become firm friends, was one of his motives for leaving the role in the eventual replacement story, Planet of the Spiders. Elements of the original story would emerge in later stories, such as the Master’s final line in Planet of Fire in 1984, the Valeyard in The Trial of a Time Lord (1986), an in-joke in The Sound of Drums (2007), and the Master’s apparent death in The End of Time Part Two (2010). Following Delgado’s death, the Master would not be seen again until Peter Pratt took on the role in Robert Holmes’ The Deadly Assassin in 1976.
Now Black Glove Studio and Studio Severn have turned Sloman and Letts’ premise into a full-cast, fan-made audio production and Big Finish should look out. The story stars Marshall Tankersley and Terry Cooper giving impressively persuasive impressions of Pertwee and Delgado. It also features the characters of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sarah Jane Smith, Mike Yates, John Benton, and Liz Shaw, played with varying fidelity to their originals (although Richard Gurl’s Benton sounds particularly authentic). The script was written by Chris McKeon and the production is complete with music and some very effective sound design.
The first, hour-long episode of this polished and enjoyable production is now available, below.