How would you rank the War Master sets?

I’m coming to the end of ‘Solitary Confinement’ now and been questionining my ranking for this range. One of my mates told me this was the worst release in the whole range - I disagree, but it certainly has its issues.

Would love to hear how you lot rank the sets!

So, my ranking.

1st Place - ‘Anti-Genesis’

Genuinely one of the finest things BigFinish have ever released. I’m not the biggest ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ buff, but the idea of the Master hijacking the creation of the salt-shakers is phenomenal.

The stakes are high. The backdrop is grand. The Master finally wins, but you know what they say… he who wins must lose.

2nd Place: ‘Killing Time’

Very easily could have taken the top position; if only the final episode had been a bit tighter in the writing department.

Lou Morgan’s scripts are uncomfortable listens, because they put two much loved companions through a living hell, but they’re immaculately written. She cemented herself as one of the writers to watch.

James Goss also deserves credit for creating a sparring partner for the Master: Calantha is amazing, please bring her back!

3rd Place: ‘Hearts of Darkness’

Sandwiched in-between two of the darkest and most plot heavy releases in this range, we have quite possibly the most fun outing.

‘Hearts of Darkness’ is very easy to just pick up and listen to; no relliance on past continuity, just some fun adventures with Jacobi and McGann.

The twist is pretty obvious, but I wont spoil if you haven’t heard it.

The music in this set was also just chef’s kiss gorgeous!

4th Place: ‘Only the Good’

The one that started it all. I fully admit that the first episode was a little bit on the generic side - I blame the lack of world-building - but everything else was immaculate.

‘The Sky Man’ remains one of the most well-loved stories in this range for good reason.

5th Place: ‘The Master of Callous’

Put your pitch-forks away! I know this is often considered one of the greatest War Master releases, but I honestly just found it alright.

‘Call for the Dead’ was really chilling, and I love the trippy imagery from ‘The Glittering Prize’. The other two episodes though… can’t really remember anything about them, except that I enjoyed them.

6th Place: ‘Self-Defence’

My choises for sixth and seventh place were actually quite difficult - both sets had their strong suits, and their failings.

But ‘Self-Defence’ is the one I would rather listen to again, if someone made me choose.

‘The Players’ is something of a weak-link, but that gives way to the gorgeously written ‘Boundaries’.

The finale is also spectacular!

7th Place: ‘Escape from Reality’

When I first reviewed this set - back on the OTHER SITE - it probably would have ranked among my favourites. Unfortunately, it became pretty stale upon relistens.

‘The Adventure of the Deceased Doctor’ was genuinely immaculate, with Sherlock’s fate being horrifying.

The other episodes though. Genuinely not fussed.

8th Place: ‘Solitary Confinement’

I only finished ‘Solitary Confinement’ recently. I must confess that I thought it would rank higher than this, but we’ve heard a lot of this before.

Most of the episodes are character studies that amount to “the Master gaslights an innocent into doing his bidding”. That story formula was perfected by the sixth set, but I will admit that ‘The Walls of Absence’ was uterlly sublime!

‘The Life and Loves of Alexander Bennett’ was very nearly as arduous to listen to as the stupid Coney Island from the worst set.

9th Place: ‘Rage of the Time Lords’

The only installment of this range I regret buying. The first episode was bland and forgettable, but that wasn’t anyone’s fault - it was meant to be about Witchfinder Generals, and only got changed because of how recent the abysmal TV story featuring the same was then.

‘The Coney Island Chameleon’ on the other hand… woah boy! What a stinker! Dreadful performances throughout.

Even McGann’s cameo apperance can’t save this dire set.


I sadly only have the first 5! I think my rankings would be:

  1. The Master of Callous
  2. Anti-Genesis
  3. Hearts of Darkness
  4. Only the Good
  5. Rage of the Time Lords

Really sad to hear the recent ones haven’t been all that special, though I’d really love to catch up.


Still not finished Self Defence yet (one more to go) but other than that

  1. Master of Callous
  2. Anti Genesis
  3. Only the Good
  4. Hearts of Darkness
  5. Rage of the Time Lords

i think my ranking would probably be:

  1. Anti-Genesis
  2. Hearts of Darkness
  3. Master of Callous
  4. Only the Good
  5. Rage of the Time Lords

and I’m unable to rank Killing Time for reasons i have discussed with you personally Palin


With caveat that I haven’t listened to a bunch of these in a long time, so I’m kind of relying on my past ratings and vague rememberings here! Unfortunately, I either need a story to be super memorable or listen to it a bunch of times to actually retain the information :sweat_smile:

  1. Master of Callous - I can understand why you might not have ranked this one very highly, but for me, this is the epitome of the War Master range. And Narvin’s in it. Can’t ask for more.

  2. Killing Time - I don’t remember very much what actually happens in this one, but I remember how it made me feel. Bleak. I liked it.

  3. Anti-Genesis - Yes, I have seen this one pretty widely condemned, and honestly I didn’t get why it’s hated. I also am not a huge Genesis fan, but I am a Narvin fan (everyone act surprised), and the story was excellent.

  4. Solitary Confinement - I get why you’re saying that this boxset feels like old news, but that’s news I like to hear so I did enjoy this one a lot.

  5. Only the Good - Not gonna lie, I barely remember this one, but it’s my next highest rated one on average so I must have liked it.

  6. Hearts of Darkness - Paul McGann’s in it. I liked it. It’s not that dark, but it is good.

  7. Rogue Encounters -Did I listen to this one pretty recently? Yes. Do I remember what happens? No. It was fine overall, I guess.

  8. Rage of the Time Lords - Fortunately, Paul McGann does save this one for me, but I have literally no other memory of it.

  9. Escape from Reality - It was enjoyable enough but nothing standout.

  10. Self-Defence - Yeah, this one bored me. Sorry.


I’ve only listened up to series 8, but here’s my ranking:

  1. Anti Genesis
  2. Master of Callous
  3. Only the Good
  4. Killing Time
  5. Escape from Reality
  6. Self Defence
  7. Hearts of Darkness
  8. Rage of the Timelords

Funny how all the sets featuring the Doctor ended up as my least favourites. I’m surprised that they’ve never just done a basic role reversal, like Requiem for the Rocket Men did in its first part.


Of the four I’ve listened too…

  1. Master of Callous: Fantastic story told over 4 great episodes. Amazing atmosphere. Really sold me on the range.
  2. Only the Good: The Sky Man is probably the best story in the range. Let down by its first story.
  3. Anti-Genesis: Great supporting cast. Would love to see more sets with other incarnations of the master.
  4. Rage of the time Lords: Enjoy the start but feel like this falls apart at the end a bit. Because of the inclusion of the Doctor the Master can’t win but I don’t think he loses interestingly. The only set I would say isn’t great (still good).