Doctor Who review: The Eighth Doctor joins Time Lord Victorious in He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not

An Ood assassin is hunting two star-crossed lovers in new Doctor Who audio He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not. But the Eighth Doctor discovers that something much bigger is going on, as he enters the world of Time Lord Victorious…

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen the start of several journeys to All Flesh is Grass – the central story to Doctor Who event Time Lord Victorious. Last month, it began for the Ninth Doctor with comic story Monstrous Beauty. At the start of this month, it began for the Tenth Doctor with the novel The Knight, The Fool and The Dead. And, released just this week, the Eighth Doctor’s journey has finally begun with the release of He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not.

The story begins with the Doctor heading to Atharna to see one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe. However, when he arrives there, he comes across a desert planet that he doesn’t even recognize. Worse still, the Wonder he was looking for is currently missing. He knows that something’s gone wrong with time, but first, he has to deal with a more immediate problem: an extremely dangerous Ood named Brian…

Carrie Thompson’s story gives us an intriguing opening for the Time Lord Victorious audios. Stylistically, He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not is definitely a western, complete with a desert town and extremely strong accents. It’s a bold choice, but it’s a stylistic one that works well for the story. On top of that, we also have the genre of romance, as two star-crossed lovers are on the run. But if I’m honest, those two characters aren’t nearly as intriguing as who’s hunting them: Brian the Ood.

Meet Brian

Brian is such a fantastic character. So far, he just might be one of my favorite original elements in Time Lord Victorious. He had a huge role to play in The Knight, The Fool and The Dead. In that novel, he came across as an ally to the Doctor, albeit a rather dangerous and unpredictable one.

In this brand new audio, however, he’s a lot more antagonistic. While he constantly acts polite and pleasant, not only is he a very calculating individual, but it’s also clear that he’s insane, and thus unpredictable. He’s an extremely dangerous foe for the Doctor to face, and Carrie Thompson clearly had a lot of fun writing for him.

At the same time, Silas Carson has an equal amount of fun playing Brian. Essentially the definitive voice for the Ood – voicing all of their appearances on both TV and audio so far – Silas makes Brian as charming and polite as any other Ood. But he also knows how to play the intelligence and cunning of the character, too. After reading all about him in The Knight, The Fool and The Dead, it’s an absolute joy getting to hear him while meeting my favorite Doctor.

Hints of a larger story

Speaking of which: how well does the Eighth Doctor work in this story? The first thing that leaps out is that – for Time Lord Victorious, at least – the Eighth Doctor is traveling solo. Which makes sense, but at the same time, it also makes things rather tricky, at least initially. There are scenes in the TARDIS where he’s describing things out loud and it doesn’t quite work. Thankfully, these scenes don’t last too long, and he very quickly finds himself helping out the guest characters of the story.

As for the links to Time Lord Victorious itself, this episode introduces the arc for Eight in a very low-key way. There are clear indications that history is changing for some reason, but not why, at least not yet. However, it does lead into the next audio very nicely, as we’re treated to a solid cliffhanger. It also reveals some key questions about Brian that were originally left unanswered in The Knight, The Fool and The Dead. So it’s great to really see the dots joining up across different media.

While it doesn’t kick off the Time Lord Victorious audios with a bang, He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not is still an enjoyable story, featuring a fantastic performance by Silas Carson as Brian while featuring plenty of hints of what’s to come.

Next: Monstrous Beauty: Part 1 begins the Ninth Doctor’s story in Time Lord Victorious

Have you listened to the Eighth Doctor’s first adventure in Time Lord Victorious? What do you think of its unique antagonist, Brian the Ood? Where do you hope the series will go from here? Let us know in the comments below.