MY BIG FINISH JOURNEY PART 9: SWORD OF THE CHEVALIER
Out of the three tenth doctor volume two stories, Sword of the Chevalier was the one I was least looking forward to. Not because it looked like a bad story but just because the other two looked so much more exciting. However, Sword of the Chevalier is one of the best historicals I have listened to in big finish. I prefer this episode to Infamy Of The Zaross which was the first adventure in volume two as this story seemed to be a better executed and had a less quick ending. It had the same nostalgic feel to it as Infamy Of The Zaross did as the David Tennants and Billie Pipers chemistry was just the same as it was 14 years ago. Interestingly enough as I am writing this it is 14 years ago since Doomsday, the episode which separated Rose and the Doctor. Whilst being probably the most politically correct big finish audio I have listened to The Chevalier d’Eon was one of the highlights of this story. There are many episodes of doctor who where they go back in time to meet a historical figure and they are pretty pointless to the story, particularly in the last few series of the show. However, The Chevalier d’Eon used her sword fighting skills to battle the Obsidian Asp which meant she did not go to waste and she helped out the doctor and rose to stop them. The doctor and Chevalier d’Eon had a very good chemistry throughout the episode which it a lot more interesting and made it feel like they were on the same page with what to do.
The story was set in the late 1700s in France where the Doctor and Rose met The Chevalier d’Eon who was a male spy who changed to a female in the late 1700s in order to be let back into France. He/she had both feminine and masculine features which played in well with the villain for this episode. The Obsidian Asp were a race of creatures who had one body but more voice and people living inside of them. It was quite a complicated villain, but it played in with the fact that The Chevalier d’Eon also had different people living inside of her/he. The Obsidian Asp had a simple enough motive which was to kill the majority of the population of earth and sell the rest as slaves so they could sell them for more. They were planning on letting a deadly disease out to kill off most of humanity. Slightly ironic in these times with corona virus. The pacing of this episode was very good as it had the right amount of action and talking. Whilst the plot was simple it was very enjoyable, and it is always nice to learn about a new historical figure seen as that was always the plan for the show back in 1963. The sound and music was also something very good about this story as it fitted nicely in with the French theme as well as fitting in with the sort of music which would have been in series two back in 2006. I have listened to Guy Adams and Matt Fitton’s big finish stories before in the first doctor volume one collection where they both wrote two very good stories. In this they were together, and it felt like a mix between the Great White Hurricane story written by Guy Adams and the Destination Wars written by Matt Fitton. I would really like both these writers to return and write for the modern series as it is in desperate need for some decent writers.
David Tennant and Billie Piper were as good as they were way back in series two. The are my favourite Tardis team along with mickey so it really isn’t hard for me to enjoy them in this. The Chevalier d’Eon was a very interesting and strong historical character who worked very well with David Tennant. The villains in this story had a cool concept but weren’t anything incredible, although I often think that it is a lot harder to create an incredible villain just on audio as so much of it is down to visuals. The rest of the side cast were pretty non-existent as they only had a few lines here and there but in some cases that’s a good thing as it allows the main characters to develop more and in the case of historicals you really need that.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sword of the Chevalier as it was a well written and well executed historical which explored the mystery of the Chevalier d’Eon whilst keeping it action packed and interesting. Both the writers were incredibly good at writing the Tenth Doctor and Rose just how they were 14 years ago and creating a good villain which has parallels with The Chevalier d’Eon. The only downside with this story was that the side cast didn’t really do much, however having said that, with them having more lines it could have taken away from the great chemistry the Doctor and Chevalier d’Eon had. This is definitely one of my favourite big finish stories I have listened to and I really want Matt Fitton and Guy Adams to write for the modern series.
Overall, I give this episode an 8/10.
Written by: JACOB MOORE
Hi I’m Jacob and I write loads of articles for this website. I mainly do big finish but I also do news articles and much more. My main series is my big finish journey where I go through lots of different big finish stories. Please comment any you would like me to listen to and what you thought of this story.