Dalek Empire 3:
"Death to the Daleks!"

Starring: Sarah Mowat and Gareth Thomas
Big Finish Productions
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 903654 38 6, BFPCDDE03
Available now

After years of searching, Alby Brook may soon make contact with Susan Mendez, but his latest orders could mean that he has to kill her. Meanwhile, Suz and Kalendorf devise a desperate plan to defeat the Daleks - but will their efforts be too late...?

As in the previous instalment, we hear the metal meanies sounding distinctly ill at ease taking orders from a human being, Suz (Sarah Mowat), as she takes advantage of the Emperor Dalek's protection. You can almost see their gun sticks twitching with impotent rage as they reluctantly intone, "I... obey." Suz really pushes her luck as she toes the line with her captors, and there is ample evidence to suggest that she is developing something of a death wish to compensate for her guilt about being a collaborator. The Daleks soon find a devious way to work around Suz's obstinacy, however, and once again manipulate her to their own evil ends.

Despite their pretentions at human relations, the Daleks completely misinterpret the relationship that exists between Suz and Kalendorf (Gareth Thomas). They assume that because the humanoids often disagree, their friendship must therefore be an inefficient one.

This is no cosy ensemble series, as a couple of cast changes remind us. With John Wadmore's cowardly Pellan written out, Teresa Gallagher joins the cast as interplanetary police officer Mirana. (The multi-accented Gallagher also plays the President of Earth, who may or may not be the same figure seen on TV in the Doctor Who serial Frontier in Space.) Such cast changes drive home the fact that nothing should be taken for granted and no one character can be assumed to be safe from extermination as this grandiose saga approaches its final chapter.

Richard McGinlay