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     Big Finish V – Return Of The Daleks (Big Finish Subscriber Bonus Play)    
     Author:  BadWolf
     Dated:  Saturday, December 30 2006 @ 01:01 AM EST
     Viewed:  2,186 times  
    DW Reviews Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor. Gareth Thomas as Karlendorf and Sarah Mowat as Susan Mendes

    I have to say right off the bat that this story was a terrible disappointment.

    Written and acted in by Nicholas Briggs it adds some colour to the Dalek Empire series. I have heard some criticism of the Dalek Empire plays which I have always felt unjustified. They were good stories which were well acted by some very credible actors (David Tennant) but the biggest problem for me when I was listening was the absence of their nemesis. The Daleks conquer the galaxy and the Doctor was not mentioned once?

    Gareth Thomas and Sarah Mowat return to reprise their roles as Kalendorf and Susan Mendes to good effect and the play appears to be set early to midway through the Dalek Empire series. One of the things that puzzled me in that series was the slow meltdown of the Karlendorf – Mendes relationship and to some extent this play provides some insight into the breakdown of that relationship. The play bridges the gap betwixt the Doctor Who series and the Dalek Empire series falling more to being a lost Dalek Empire series than the former.

    That having been said; the origins of this story are definitely Doctor Who. The play is a continuation of the 3rd Doctor story “Planet of the Daleks.” In that story the Daleks occupied the planet Spiridon and studied the occupants to discover the secret of their genetic invisibility so they could use it for themselves. The 3rd Doctor learned of their plans and also discovered an invasion force in a huge underground cavern. The 3rd Doctor caused the invasion force to be buried under molten ice before escaping.

    (continues below)

    In this play the Dalek science unit land on the planet Soleria and begin mysterious mining of the planet and experimentation upon the population. Enter the 7th Doctor who informs Karlendorf that the planet is actually Spiridon which changed its name after the Daleks were defeated and that the previously invisible population had made themselves visible by genetic manipulation.

    The Dalek science division mission was of course to release the buried army and pursue the invisibility experiments once again.

    This play is (I believe) the first subscriber bonus disc to feature the 7th Doctor and subscribers will notice that while the Doctor is dark and mysterious he is not as dark as he has been appearing in the more recent regular Big Finish plays (The Settling, No Mans Land etc.) which was a pleasant surprise.

    This is the 7th Doctor at his best. The twist at the end goes a long way to explaining some things that were troubling about the Dalek Empire series. With the bridge betwixt two separate series and the weaving of characters from both, the 7th Doctor doesn’t actually appear that much but the play is very absorbing despite his absence.

    Okay so I said at the outset that I was terribly disappointed with this story and although my review doesn’t read that way; I am. As a subscriber bonus the play is only one disc long and I am afraid that it really deserved to be two. If you are considering subscribing to Big Finish, this story; given free will not disappoint.

    I recently heard a review score expressed in Jelly babies... Throw the whole jar at this one!



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  • Big Finish V – Return Of The Daleks (Big Finish Subscriber Bonus Play) | 3 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
    Big Finish V – Return Of The Daleks (Big Finish Subscriber Bonus Play)
    Authored by: tarashnat on Monday, January 08 2007 @ 03:08 PM EST

    Compared to the previous subscriber bonus story, Cryptobiosis, I feel that Return of the Daleks was a much better story and did not have the glaring plot holes of its predecessor. It is nice to see the Seventh Doctor getting one of these, as the prior three had featured the Sixth Doctor. With Big Finish's recent pledge to even out the number of releases per Doctor, I would expect the next bonus story to feature Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor. Well, we shall see.

    Back to the story, it was good to see the links between the classic series and the two Big Finish series intersecting in this freebie.

    Taras

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