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May 21st, 2020 17 comments

Big Finish The War Master 5 Hearts of Darkness

Watch out, peoples of the universe! The most deadly incarnation of Gallifrey’s most notorious renegade Time Lord is all set for eight new and terrifying adventures in the Time War.

Sir Derek Jacobi returns as the War Master in two new volumes of full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish, and must first face his arch-enemy, the Doctor, in the shape of Paul McGann.

Sent on a mission by the Time Lords, the War Master hurtles toward his destiny and will ultimately learn more about his nemesis than ever before…

The War Master: Hearts of Darkness is due for release in October 2020, and is now available for pre-order as a collector’s edition four-disc box set (on CD at £24.99) and as a digital download (at £19.99), exclusively from

“Find the Doctor… stop the Doctor… and, if necessary, kill the Doctor!”

Recruited by the Celestial Intervention Agency to track down his oldest enemy, the Master finds himself thrown into a mission that will take him into deepest Dalek territory.

Abandoned on the planet Redemption, he assembles a crew and acquires a ship – the journey that follows is certain to test them all… and not everyone will survive.

But space pirates and living corpses are the least of their worries. Their biggest threat remains at large: a Time Lord who likes to call himself ‘the Doctor’.

Also starring alongside Sir Derek Jacobi and Paul McGann in volume five are Seán Carlsen (Narvin), George Fletcher (Grondak), Sam Hallion (Kriket), Sandra Huggett (Dorada), Alex Jordan (Domdaniel Computer), Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo (The Scaramancer), Colin McFarlane (Morski), Tanya Moodie (Kilda), Henry Nott (Dieter), Julia Sandiford (Ilya), and Amanda Shodeko (Meri).

The four adventures in volume five, The War Master: Hearts of Darkness are as follows:

  • The Edge of Redemption by David Llewellyn
  • The Scaramancer by Lisa McMullin
  • The Castle of Kurnos 5 by David Llewellyn
  • The Cognition Shift by Lisa McMullin

Producer, Scott Handcock said: “I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done on The War Master series to date, so it’s a greater thrill to be able to reunite with Derek and tell even more stories with his particular incarnation across two brand-new box sets. Speaking of reunions, he’ll be encountering a few familiar faces along the way!

“Volume 5: Hearts of Darkness, sees the Master pitted once again against the Eighth Doctor! It’s an epic four-disc tale, written by David Llewellyn and Lisa McMullin, with the Master recruited by the Celestial Intervention Agency to track the Doctor down in deepest enemy territory. It goes without saying that working with Derek and Paul individually is always a pleasure but watching them fire off one another in studio is extra special.”

The series continues with volume six, The War Master: Killing Time, featuring the following exciting new stories, due for release in August 2021:

  • The Sincerest Form of Flattery by James Goss
  • A Quiet Night In by Lou Morgan
  • The Orphan by Lou Morgan
  • Unfinished Business by James Goss

Producer, Scott Handcock added: “Volume 6: Killing Time finds the Master struggling to seize command of an empire… and features a couple more faces familiar to fans of the classic era of Doctor Who. But that’s all I’m saying for now! They’re four beautiful, character-driven scripts from James Goss and Lou Morgan that use horror and humour in equal measure. I can’t wait to reveal more!”

More story details, photos, clips and cover artwork will be revealed nearer to the release date.

The War Master: Hearts of Darkness and The War Master: Killing Time are each now available for pre-order as collector’s edition four-disc box sets (on CD at £24.99) and as digital downloads (at £19.99), exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering a bundle of both forthcoming volumes of The War Master series for £48 as collector’s edition box sets or £39 as digital downloads.

Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mailout of collector’s edition CDs will be delayed, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, spin-offs


  • Bunter

    May 22nd, 2020 - 12:35pm

    I’ve not listened to the War Master stories yet, but does anyone know how come if the War Master and 8th Doctor meet (assuming they do), why does the 10th Doctor not remember the War Master before he regenerates into John Simm?

    • Anonymous

      May 22nd, 2020 - 12:38pm

      I’ve been wondering the same thing. I know he meets River Song as well as Missy in the Doom Coalition and Ravenous sets, so I dont know how he doesn’t recognize them.

    • Anonymous

      May 22nd, 2020 - 2:56pm

      As usual…

    • The Doctor

      May 22nd, 2020 - 5:10pm

      There’s always a reason given as to why The Doctor loses his memory, or time gets unwritten. Best not to get bogged down in the details, they always maintain the canon, but you just got to enjoy the story.

      In Volume 3 – Rage of The Time lords 8 does meet the War Master, but due to experimenting on his brain, the doctor forgets the whole thing. Same with River.

    • Anonymous

      May 22nd, 2020 - 9:15pm

      The last time 8 and the war master met, the Master erased his memory. They might pull a similar trick or they don’t meet face to face or perhaps they might reveal that the Chameleon arch perception filters can also affect other timelords

  • The Ergon

    May 21st, 2020 - 6:51pm

    I,m glad these aren,t this year. I,ve enough on to order with ‘The Paternoster gang 4, Susans war and the upcoming stranded series and thats not counting early preorders. I,m going to have to call time on a few. There ought to be an end to some to make way for new adventures or at least limit to one boxset per year for each. Its costing too much. I,ve had to forsake some.I,ve now already said goodbye to Missy and River song and wish them well on future adventures. Some will always take precedence over others.

    • DanWFA

      May 21st, 2020 - 10:17pm

      The 5th volumeis out this year. Hearts of Darkness is out in October and Killing Time August 2021

    • The Ergon

      May 22nd, 2020 - 12:57am

      I didn,t read the dates properly, I just saw 2021. Well i,m afraid these look set to get in the queue if i decide to buy. Big finish is starting to become an expensive hobby and annual debt.

    • Anonymous

      May 22nd, 2020 - 2:57pm

      That’s why I stopped years ago.

  • Anonymous

    May 21st, 2020 - 6:36pm

    How does Paul McGann keep looking younger???

    • Anonymous

      May 21st, 2020 - 8:55pm

      He’s the British version of Paul Rudd

    • Bunter

      May 22nd, 2020 - 12:38pm

      Yes, it’s amazing, and makes you wish they would have him appear in the TV series again before he finally does look too old.

  • Phasergrim

    May 21st, 2020 - 5:26pm

    Wasn’t Anti-Genesis advertised as the big finale to The War Doctor series? That may have just been in my head and I haven’t gotten round to listening to it yet but I swear I remember that. If so then I wonder what made them change their minds.

    • Anonymous

      May 21st, 2020 - 5:42pm

      Because there popular, if they didn’t sell they wouldn’t bother.

    • Anonymous

      May 21st, 2020 - 9:38pm

      The first boxset was the finale.

    • Anonymous

      May 22nd, 2020 - 9:37am

      They said that they’ll keep making these sets as long as Derek is happy to do them

    • The Doctor

      May 22nd, 2020 - 5:11pm

      Nah, before that came out we had Nick Briggs taking over twitter and he was asked if there would be more after 4 and he said there would be. It wasn’t meant to be a finale, doesn’t play as one really. (The first one does though) But he’s such a joy to listen to I hope they make it to 100.

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