AUDIO DRAMA
I, Davros
3 - Corruption

Starring: Terry Molloy
Big Finish Productions
RRP: 10.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84435 233 3
ISBN-10: 1 84435 233 1
Available 04 December 2006


Now established within the Scientific Elite, Davros is pushing the boundaries of Kaled experimentation further and further forward. Access to Thal DNA spearheads an entirely new field of research for the scientist and his team. However, as Davros becomes more and more intrigued by genetic mutations, others around him begin to fear him, his drive and his obsessive thirst for power. Meanwhile, he must learn to cope with betrayal and political manoeuvrings that will leave him changed forever...

Another Davros audio drama, another dual-layered episode title. Corruption refers not only to political sleaze - to which the Kaled Supremo (John Stahl), Lady Calcula (Carolyn Jones) and even ultimately Davros himself (Terry Molloy) all prove susceptible - but also to the genetic mutations that Davros and his fellow scientists observe when living cells are exposed to radiation.

Lance Parkin's script brings us significantly closer to the Davros and the Skaro with which we are familiar. We learn that Drammankin Lake has been informally renamed "the Lake of Mutations", a reference to the very first Doctor Who Dalek story, The Daleks. We are introduced to the tunnel system featured in Genesis of the Daleks, which is also infested with mutations. And, towards the end of the episode, Davros is crippled in a Thal attack. A subsequent scene re-enacts the memorable moment from Ben Aaronovitch's novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks and Parkin's audio drama Davros, in which the twisted genius chooses life and the prospect of vengeance and power over the peace of death.

As ever, sound designer/musician Steve Foxon provides authentic Skarosian effects, though the illusion is briefly shattered by a distinctive door chime lifted from Picard's ready room in Star Trek: The Next Generation and by the presence of a Kaled woman with a West Country accent (of course, the Ninth Doctor once told us that lots of planets have a north, so evidently Skaro also has a west). Elsewhere, an intrusive fountain effect is so loud that I initially took it to be a fry-up in progress.

Though my adoration for this series has been ever-so-slightly corrupted by such technical flaws, it sets things up very effectively for the eagerly awaited fourth and final instalment...

Richard McGinlay

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