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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
Daleks Among Us


Starring: Sylvester McCoy
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
RRP: £14.99 (CD), £12.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 78178 077 0
Release Date: 30 September 2013

REMINDER – TO ALL CITIZENS: There are no Daleks on Azimuth. There have never been Daleks on Azimuth. Twenty years ago, the Daleks did not invade Azimuth. There was no war. There were no death camps. A man named “the Doctor” did not help to liberate Azimuth. There are no such things as Daleks. They do not exist. There are no Daleks among us. UPDATE – TO ALL CITIZENS: A strange blue box has not appeared in Monument Plaza. Off-worlders named “the Doctor”, “Elizabeth Klein” and “Will Arrowsmith” are not at large in the city. For your own safety, should you not see any of the above, report at once to the Department of Re-education, Azimuth Central. NEVER REMEMBER...

Daleks! Davros! Nazis! Klein! The conclusion of the persuasion machine arc! With all of these exciting elements vying for our attention, why am I damning this adventure with the faint praise of 6 out of 10?

Once more writer Alan Barnes gives us lots of unexpected twists. Each episode of this four-part story takes a markedly different turn, each one ending with a revelation about parentage in some way or other. To be honest, I found a couple of the twists towards the end somewhat predictable, though that isn’t the main problem I have with this tale. The peculiar culture of denial on the planet Azimuth, which the back-cover blurb of this double CD would have us believe is the be all and end all of the story, is all but forgotten about after the opening episode. It is just background scenery, in which Barnes can conceal Davros (Terry Molloy) until the villain is ready to trundle out of the wings.

As well as being the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, it’s also 25 years since Sylvester McCoy and Terry Molloy faced each other as the Seventh Doctor and Davros in Remembrance of the Daleks. Incredibly, these characters have never confronted each other in a Big Finish production until now, so this rematch is long overdue, though the villain has been better served by his clashes with the Sixth and Eighth Doctors.

This is perhaps one Dalek story too many this year, coming so soon after The Dalek Generation and The Dalek Contract / The Final Phase. Even the Daleks’ voice artist Nicholas Briggs seems to be running out of steam, his voices for the Azimuth public address system sounding rather like Mondasian Cybermen.

Nor am I convinced that Elizabeth Klein (Tracey Childs) needed a new secret Nazi past – she’s already had one. Still, it’s all very dramatically done, thanks to the performers, Childs and Molloy among them, the direction of Ken Bentley and the attention-grabbing sound design of Wilfredo Acosta.

Daleks! Davros! Nazis! A new back-story for Klein! A culture of denial on Azimuth! The conclusion of the persuasion machine arc! Two types of god-like entity! All of these are good story elements in their own right, two or three of which could have made for a great adventure, but all together it’s a bit too much, and the end result does none of them real justice.


Richard McGinlay

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