Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Doctor vs. the Daleks

Doctor Who
Lucie Miller (4.9) & To The Death (4.10)
8th Doctor Adventures
Big Finish (audio-plays)

In the last quarter of last year, Big Finish ran quite a few sales on their Doctor Who line of audio-dramas if you went the download route.  I had some of the initial CDs, but lost track for a while.  It seemed like a good time to get back into it.  Being a Whovian, having the CDs as collectibles is always tempting, but the downloads were priced very low at sale time, so I skipped the CDs (also saved shelf space at home.)

Lucie Miller and To The Death are two parts of a single tale that closes out the 8th Doctor's 4th Big Finish series.  (The numbering is a little confusing because Paul McGann also had many 8th Doctor Adventures in the main release line before they spun him out specifically.)

Anyway.  The Daleks are back.  Back on Earth.  Back in the 21st century.  Lucie Miller, the Doctor's off-and-on again companion for most of this season is trapped, crippled by a disease unleashed by the Daleks before their invasion.  The Daleks are following a very familiar pattern.  Susan - the Doctor's granddaughter - is exiled on Earth and she notes it is the same as before - referencing the television serial, The Dalek Invasion of Earth.  And the Doctor has failed to answer desperate summons from his friends and family.

The Doctor eventually shows up, of course, and must match wits with not only the Daleks, but also The Dalek Time Controller, a new uber-Dalek conceived by Nicholas Briggs.  The Dalek Time Controller is supreme director of all Dalek time-travel activities.  It has a consciousness outside of Time.  It sounds a little like the Dalek, Caan  - though the Time Controller isn't insane.  Well, not any more insane than any other maniacal Dalek.  The Dalek Time Controller made its first appearance in Patient Zero (which I have not listened to.)

In the extra documentary tracks, writer-director-Dalek-voice-actor Nicholas Briggs notes that he decided to go with yet another Dalek invasion, not out of laziness, but because he wanted to echo the European history of WWI eventually repeating itself into WWII.  "Here we go again," but with Daleks.   The Dalek story is really much more of a backdrop against which the Doctor, his companions and some of his enemies of the season, finally have it all out together in the big finale.

I enjoyed it, though naturally I would have been more invested if I'd listened to the entire season from the start.  The Time Controller put a bit of a twist on the tale rather than just another invasion.  McGann is excellent - again, I wish he could get a guest shot on the new television series, now, while he can still manage the part physically.  The ending is on the dark side, but not unexpected by the title(s) and the Daleks spreading death & extermination wherever they go.

I have more stories from Big Finish to listen to and look forward to them.

1 comment:

  1. I am pretty much a Dr. Who illiterate. I know that loses me some cred but I have to be honest. :)