Key2Time: The Judgement of Isskar

Who would have thought that revisiting the Key to Time would work? It seemed as if it was just a one time worry for the Doctor before, but not any longer. Big Finish’s new audio series Key2Time: The Judgement of Isskar has taken us back for another journey for the Key and this time with a twist. Well there had to be really.

Peter Davison steps up to the challenge, or more so gets tangled up in the adventure this time and he is joined by a new companion.  She is the Amy, a being made by the creators of the Key To Time…

Amy is a very interesting character and we get to watch her learn and grow so much in such a short amount of time. Doctor Who was always at it’s best when someone learned something; either the viewers learning some science in the original series, or various characters learning from the Doctor and the Doctor from them. A special case, Amy is not the usual sort of companion.  She has lots to learn and yet is also so knowledgeable about many things that other companions would never even grasp.

Peter plays the part of the teacher very well and it feels natural for him to do so. He’s no Ian Chesterton or Barbara Wright, but then that is not the sort of teacher that Amy needs and who better to show her what she is missing then the most human of all the Doctors?

This story takes us to two distant, yet connected lands, in the search for the Key and we also get to see one of the show’s oldest aliens embark on a journey of learning as well. The Ice Warriors make an excellent and quite different return to the audios. Now this is where the Big Finish excels. Rather then take the fan approach and use Doctor Who aliens as we are used to seeing them, they explore other avenues and other traits of these aliens so that we don’t get a repeat of things we have seen before.

Which takes us to the quest itself. This time the search for the Key To Time is for an altogether different reason, there is more at stake then a power crazed alien life form wanting to become all powerful. In a way it makes the quest for the Key all the more important then the last time we saw it. And like last time the Doctor doesn’t have all the facts at his disposal. Amy is hiding a secret from the Doctor and while it seems that we learn this secret the first part of Key2Time, I am a bit skeptical that there isn’t more that Amy isn’t telling us.

That in itself will make this journey even more worthwhile. What could she be hiding? I have my theory, but I am not about to let that out just yet.

This time round the time travelers are not alone in their quest either. They have competition from none other then Amy’s sister Zara. She seems to be more worldly then Amy and more understanding of the quest itself. Zara is also more willing to use whatever means necessary to gain access to the segments of the Key. This is a very interesting aspect, because it seems that when you are dealing with the Key To Time you must also have a ying/yang aspect to the search. The Doctor’s previous quest for the Key gave us the Black and White Guardians; this time we have Amy, the sister seemingly on the side of good and Zara who appears to have a touch of the bad side in her.

No matter how you cut it, Big Finish have delivered a very interesting situation for the Fifth Doctor and it will be one fascinating journey to see what’s in store, and what Amy’s big secret really is.

The Judgement of Isskar is released January 31st, and available from the Big Finish website, priced £14.99.

Brian A Terranova


Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.

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