AUDIO DRAMA
Doctor Who
Blood of the Daleks - Part 2

Starring: Paul McGann
Big Finish Productions
RRP: 10.99
ISBN: 978 1 84435 256 2
Available 19 February 2007


Professor Martez, now inhabiting the body of his assistant, Asha Gryvern, has summoned the Daleks to the Earth colony world of Red Rocket Rising so that they can assist with the production of his own Dalek creations. However, the true Daleks see Martez's creations as a threat, and they plan to destroy them in order to maintain the purity of the Dalek bloodline. With Lucie captured and Martez's Daleks holding the advantage in terms of sheer weight of numbers, the Doctor has little choice but to ally himself with his old enemies...

Whenever I hear one of the characters referring to Red Rocket Rising, I can't help thinking of those Leslie Nielsen adverts for Red Rock Cider: "It's not red, and there's no rocks in it". However, though this CD isn't red, it does have a rocket ship in it!

Rather like the "special relationship" between Tony Blair and George W Bush, the colony's acting president, Eileen Klint (Anita Dobson), finds that her partnership with the Daleks is a very one-sided affair. The politics of modern warfare are also alluded to in the Daleks' euphemistic use of the term "target", which in this case includes several innocent civilians.

As in Part 1, writer Steve Lyons and the rest of the production team emulate recent television episodes featuring the Daleks. Tom Cardwell (Kenneth Cranham) describes how he could see through victims' bodies as the invaders exterminated them, while the Daleks themselves reuse the catchphrase "El-e-vate!" Em-u-late! The revelation that the main Dalek force is busy fighting an unnamed enemy in another sector invites speculation (on my part at least) of a connection with the forthcoming Time War. Could their unnamed enemy actually be the Time Lords?

Just as he did in Resurrection of the Daleks, the Doctor (Paul McGann) regrets not having wiped out his foes when he had the chance in Genesis of the Daleks. Thus history repeats itself in more ways than one - intentionally on the author's part, and not quite so intentionally. Lyons' plot also bears more than a passing resemblance to his 1996 Missing Adventures novel Killing Ground, which saw human colonists being transformed into "Bronze Knights", cybernetic warriors designed to rival the might of the Cybermen.

This isn't quite as strong a CD as the previous one. For one thing, the Doctor doesn't seem to do much besides temporarily allying himself with the Daleks. Even his decision to allow Lucie (Sheridan Smith) to continue her travels with him is forced upon him by way of Time Lord intervention. Furthermore, the interviews that comprise the disc's extra features have more to do with the next Eighth Doctor release, The Horror of Glam Rock, than they do with this episode. Worst of all, the interviews give away (for those of you who didn't already know) the villains of the final story in this series, Human Resources.

However, the CD extras do provide an interesting insight into the casting process.

Blood of the Daleks - Part 2 might not be entirely up to the standards of Part 1, but Steve Lyons is incapable of writing a really bad story, so that's only a relative judgement on what remains a decidedly full-blooded adventure.

Richard McGinlay

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