Site Menu

August 4th, 2021 22 comments

Big Finish The War Master 7 Self-Defence

Available to order from

Jacobi vs Tennant!

Professor Yana, is that you? Sir Derek Jacobi returns as The War Master in a brand-new box set of audio adventures due for release in June 2022.

For the past four years, to great popular acclaim, the War Master has successfully waged a campaign of evil at Big Finish Productions. Originally glimpsed on screen in the 2007 Doctor Who story, Utopia, the Time War incarnation of the Doctor’s best enemy is back for a seventh series. And this time, the two Time Lords face each other once more – but who remembers who?

Sir Derek Jacobi reprises the role of the Master for these four thrilling new stories, featuring an explosive showdown with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, guest-starring in the final episode, fifteen years after they first met on television.

The War Master: Self-Defence 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 the Big Finish website.

  • The Forest of Penitence by Lou Morgan
  • The Players by Una McCormack
  • Boundaries by Lizbeth Myles
  • The Last Line by Lizzie Hopley

David Tennant said: “One of the joys of these Big Finish stories is that any little corner of the Doctor Who universe can be re-explored – and what a treat to get to do a story with Derek! There’s something so vivid in those moments when Derek became the Master on TV. It feels very natural that that character should be expanded and have all these stories to tell because there was so much going on there.”

Scott Handcock added: “Self-Defence has been a thrill to pull together. We have four brilliant scripts from Lou Morgan, Una McCormack, Lizbeth Myles and Lizzie Hopley and an incredible guest cast across the stories – plus the Tenth Doctor himself getting propelled back into the Time War for the box set’s conclusion! And given that Derek and David only shared a look as Doctor and Master on screen, it’s great to hear them face off against each other properly – and for the Master to have no idea who this Doctor is!”

Praise for The War Master series at Big Finish:

“Derek Jacobi brings an incredible weight and nuance to the role that harkens back to Roger Delgado’s original.” – Doctor Who Reviews

“The War Master is Big Finish doing what they do best. Well-crafted stories, superbly acted, from a world we only glimpsed on TV. Simply wonderful.”
– Tin Dog Podcast

“It’s entertaining, deadly and unpredictable.” – The Host Productions

“It never lacks for pace, getting your heart racing… You’ll be waving flags and placards demanding more from the War Master…” – Mass Movement

“A cherishable gem, a genuinely epic, exquisitely paced, beautifully acted, gorgeously scored cut of prime spin-off Who.”
– Doctor Who Magazine

The War Master: Self-Defence 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) from the Big Finish website.

Big Finish listeners can save money by ordering a bundle of both The War Master: Self-Defence and the as-yet-untitled eighth series for £48 as collector’s edition CD box sets or £39 as digital downloads.

Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, 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


  • Dalekparadigm2

    August 11th, 2021 - 12:56pm

    This is going to be really interesting! For once, The Doctor will know the Master before the Master knows the Doctor. I don’t think we’ve seen it this way round before…could be wrong.

  • Ben Miller

    August 5th, 2021 - 8:34am

    I’m hoping that Matt Smith does do big finish audio dramas fingers crossed like when Christopher Eccleston announced that he’s going to do big finish audio drama hopefully the same with Matt Smith hopefully that will get announced possibly next year.

    • TimelordTim

      August 5th, 2021 - 11:32am

      I may be wrong here, but hasn’t Matt Smith said he’s interested in doing Big Finish but not for a while yet whilst he does other things?

      Either way, I think Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Jenna Coleman, Maisie Williams and Peter Capaldi would all be great additions to the Big Finish range. But they will all be very busy on other projects for a while and I think it’ll be a number of years before we get any of them in the range.

      Still, we can hope for an Eccleston like surprise!

    • Anonymous

      August 5th, 2021 - 12:08pm

      I hope it happens. I hope they manage to get all the new series doctors be companions for regular releases, but particularly Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, they were the Doctor Who era I grew up with and it would be so great for my childhood to come back to me.

  • Doctor Stu

    August 4th, 2021 - 6:49pm

    So let me get this right, the war master looks like professor Yana, resets himself back to a child after he’s done his war mastering, then has a whole new life as professor Yana, growing up to look exactly the same as the war master. Yana then opens the watch and he’s the master again in utopia, does his Saxon lark and then dies. So Ten can only encounter him after series 3 or he’d know who it was. Yana wouldn’t remember meeting him previously though either as Yana doesn’t possess the masters memories. So I’m assuming it’s the gap between journeys end and end of time? A period so over crammed full of content I’m surprised we haven’t yet reached a point where we can document the Tenth Doctors every second completely uninterrupted between those two episodes.

    I hope the War Master forgets meeting him though, kind of ruins the fact that Simms Master says ‘we meet at last Doctor’ in the sound of drums. As he never got tp meet Ten officially as ‘the master’ yet. This changes that of course.

    But then again the whole big finish timeline can just be ignored or acknowledged at the listeners discretion so it’s not like it ruins anything.

    • Anonymous

      August 4th, 2021 - 7:31pm

      “So let me get this right, the war master looks like professor Yana, resets himself back to a child after he’s done his war mastering, then has a whole new life as professor Yana, growing up to look exactly the same as the war master”

      Did you forget how the Chamelion Arch works? It implants false memories, him being found as a child was just the cover story he may only have been on Malcassairo for 20-30 years.

    • Whofan44

      August 4th, 2021 - 9:13pm

      Actually the audios do have it that he turned into a child when he used the arc.

    • Phasergrim

      August 4th, 2021 - 10:03pm

      Also, he’s still the same guy. He’s not gonna grow up different to how he looked just because he was aged down.

    • Doctor Stu

      August 4th, 2021 - 10:18pm

      No the audios actually turn him into a child, it’s a chameleon arch and an age reset. He tells us he was found as a child

    • Doctor Stu

      August 5th, 2021 - 10:03am

      Phasergrim that wasn’t me questioning any logic, I know he’d look the same. It was more me seeing if I’d got the full story right to try and determine how this meeting could take place in both of their respective timelines

  • the ergon

    August 4th, 2021 - 6:36pm

    How is this going to work i wonder? 10th hadn,t encountered Yana before and he regenerates into Simm at the end of Utopia. Mmm. Derek jacobi is so cunning and sadistic as The war Master. In all honesty i think i would have preferred an extension with him as Harold Saxon in The sound of drums/ The last of the timelords. It would have been quite a sight seeing him dancing to ‘I can,t decide’ by The scissor sisters.

    • Anonymous

      August 4th, 2021 - 6:44pm

      It will be after season 3.

    • SJF

      August 4th, 2021 - 6:45pm

      The Tenth Doctor is getting sent back into the Time War, according to the news piece for the set.

    • The ergon

      August 4th, 2021 - 7:14pm

      Ah! Sent back into the time war. Contrived but becoming clearer.

    • Demdike@CultLabs

      August 6th, 2021 - 2:12pm

      If ten is being sent back into the Time War and comes across Jacobi’s Master then he’d have recognised Yana as the Master in Utopia surely?

      This is why Big Finish can never really be truly canon. It’s become way too convoluted with it’s time lines and path crossing.

      That’s not to say i don’t like Big Finish and their stories. I do and own around fifty of them on cd but there’s simply too much of it now and i’ve given up trying to follow them and just pick and choose the odd standalone adventure from sales.

    • The ergon

      August 6th, 2021 - 2:29pm

      We don,t know what happens in the story . Maybe 10th loses his memory or is hypnotised to forget. A decent explanation goes a long way to keeping things canon without as you say convoluting the timelines etc.

    • The Outcast

      August 6th, 2021 - 2:54pm

      Firstly, everything is canon. Doctor’s licensing works in such a way that there’s no true canon. Big Finish works it’s hardest to fit in with existing continuity. It being convoluted in places isn’t an argument that it’s “not-canon”, otherwise there’d be a strong argument against a fair chunk of NuWho.

      As for 10 coming across this Master: it’s after Utopia for him, this has been confirmed by the director. Indeed, it’s probably set during the specials for 10. So it doesn’t contradict anything about Utopia, because this is after Utopia for the 10th Doctor.

    • The ergon

      August 6th, 2021 - 4:17pm

      They coul just include some throwaway line regarding his regeneration and how then again a different version seem to turn up anywhere.I would say set before the specials and the knock four times

    • O

      August 6th, 2021 - 9:10pm

      Demdike@CultLabs: It’s clearly meant to be set after Utopia for Ten, which has been confirmed by the director. Besides, even if it was pre-Utopia, they could use the Chameleon Arch as a way to explain why he doesn’t immediately recognise Yana as the Master.
      Re: canon, there is no canon with Doctor Who.

    • The ergon

      August 7th, 2021 - 12:30am

      Except dimensions in time

    • Anonymous

      August 7th, 2021 - 11:46am

      It doesn’t matter, for 10, this is set during the specials and the Master is Yana for most of Utopia, it doesn’t matter if he recognises the Doctor or not.

  • Neil

    August 4th, 2021 - 4:49pm

    I see there is also a season 8 of this to follow..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your own avatar.
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions (below), we reserve the right to edit or delete inappropriate messages.

Comment rules

The Doctor Who site welcomes constuctive comments related to the news article in question. Links posted in comments may not be displayed. We reserve the right to delete or edit any post entirely at our discretion. If you leave unacceptable comments your IP address will be banned and reported

Click here to read full comments terms and conditions

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.