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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 April 2012
As the title of my review says, I feel this and the others in the Fourth Doctor series are way too short.

While this series of Fourth Doctor plays are wonderful and evoke memories of the late 70s in my mind, they are just too fast, and over far too quickly. I don't know why they've made them so short, but it's in danger of spoiling my enjoyment of the series. On TV in 1977 you had character development over the 4-6 episodes. Yes there were the odd 2 parters, but they were with a very small cast and certainly didn't involve lots of locations and running around.

Take this Dalek tale for example - it is truly wonderful, and as has been said in another review, the Daleks have just the right amount of menace and panic... but just as you get into it, it's over. I find this with the TV version since 2005 too... 45 minutes does "Doctor Who" no justice whatsoever, likewise Tom really needs more than a hour per story.

It's that which has forced me to only give this 4 stars rather than the 5.
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on 24 January 2015
It was inevitable that with Tom Baker finally joining Big Finish that it wouldn’t be long before the Fourth Doctor tangled with the Daleks again. During the seven year tenure of Tom Baker as the Doctor the Daleks actually only made two appearances. Furthermore, in both ‘Genesis’ and ‘Destiny’ the main focus is upon Davros and the Doctor interacts far more with the Dalek’s creator than with them. A further clash between the Fourth Doctor and the Daleks is, therefore, quite welcome.

This is another crazy ‘master plan’ from the Daleks that the Doctor must prevent. In several ways ‘Energy of the Daleks’ could be classified as a fairly traditional Dalek story. It is a Daleks invade the Earth plot where they behave as typical Daleks wanting to steal the planet’s energy and enslave the human race before they can become a possible future threat. There are even Robomen. The Robomen are probably put to better use in this story than any other as the Dalek’s possession of humans is key to their plans.

Nothing new is offered about the Daleks and there are times when the absence of Davros or a Dalek Supreme variant can be felt. Baker’s Doctor works brilliantly when he has a major antagonist he can argue and debate with. Leela’s interaction with the Daleks is of much more interest, which is why she spends much more time in their company than the Doctor does. Of course this is the first, and as yet only, time Leela has encountered these implacable foes. Her reaction to their design, appearance and behaviour is a refreshing perspective. The most interesting element of the play is the Dalek’s inability to convert her into their slave using the Roboman mind conversion because her natural primitive instinct are too strong and her will too determined.

The play hurtles along at breakneck speed. This makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience with lots of action. All the cast seem to be having a lot of fun. However, it does also feel like it stampedes towards the end a little too quickly and finishes somewhat abruptly.

Even though this was the first audio recorded for this series the decision to place it midway through is probably a wise one as there is no time for the characters of the Fourth Doctor and Leela to receive any type of re-introduction, such as, ‘Destination Nerva’ allows for.

Don’t expect anything particularly original but do expect an enjoyable Dalek romp.
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Latest Doctor Who audio play to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as his companion Leela.

This is the fourth in a series of them. All releases so far have pretty much stood on their own, though, so casual listeners would be able to pick this up and get into it quite easily. There is a linking theme to them of the Doctor educating Leela, but that has little bearing on this story.

It runs for two episodes of twenty nine minutes each [approx] and is complete on a single cd.

The story sees the Doctor and Leela arriving in London in the near future. Where they find people protesting against a corporation that claims to have a way to solve a global energy crisis. Those who protest are ruthlessly oppressed. But the Doctor has detected a mysterious and strangely familiar energy reading.

Old enemies of his are nearby. Could the scheme to save the world actually bring about it's doom?

This was the first of these to be recorded, but regular listeners to them may not even notice, as Tom Baker and Louise Jameson do feel settled in their roles right from the off, and the script does give some excellent character moments and strong dialogue. Some of it is pretty funny as well.

It's a very traditional Doctor Who story in style. With scheming Daleks. Humans on the side of authority versus those who aren't, in a style that could have come from a third doctor story. And lots of running around and the Doctor doing frightfully clever things.

Whilst the quality of the acting and the style of the story does carry it along nicely enough, it does drift a little in the middle of part two. And ultimately being traditional is also a slight weakness because it means it doesn't offer anything new, and the script isn't therefore quite up to the standards of the last two in this range.

It's a perfectly decent story for what it is, but it's not the best of this run so far.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range on the track after the end of part two.

And fifteen minutes or so of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 March 2013
The only downside of this story is that it's only two episodes on one cd! Come on, we want more Fourth Doctor full-length stories. Just as Tom Baker gets into his stride, we find the story has ended.

Otherwise, this is a great Dalek story - the Daleks are out to destroy the human race (no surprise there) and the Doctor and Leela are determined to stop them (no surprise there either!). The Doctor and Leela land in London at the time of a global energy crisis - the company that promises a resolution by taking energy from the Moon is about to start their testing. But the Daleks are watching, and using the opportunity to take their own revenge on the human race. But can their greatest enemy stop them in time!?

Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are, as always, in top form - they really do just sound like they did in the tv series. Great stuff - but can we please have longer stories!?
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on 23 September 2015
‘Energy of the Daleks’ was written and directed by Nick Briggs. This is the first Fourth Doctor story in performed Doctor Who to feature the Daleks since the television story Destiny of the Daleks in 1979. Furthermore, it is the first performed Fourth Doctor story to feature the Daleks which does not also feature their creator, Davros. This story leans very heavily on ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth for inspiration and it’s great to have the Robomen back. I always find Daleks whose motivation is destruction and domination through manipulation of the financial or energy markets rather odd to say the least; despite that it works.

Publisher’s Summary: “The Doctor and Leela find themselves in the middle of London at the time of a new energy crisis. The GlobeSphere Corporation seems to have all the answers — but several thousand protesters beg to differ.
What is the connection between the National Gallery and a base on the Moon? Has radical thinker Damien Stephens simply sold out, or does he have a more sinister agenda?
The Doctor has detected a mysterious energy reading. Could it be that the most evil creatures in the universe have returned to claim ultimate victory once and for all?”

Tom and Louise have grown in to their old roles better since the start of the series and the interplay between them has improved as well, which is odd as I believe this was the first one they recorded. Jack Benton played by Mark Benton is as an average bloke that gets sucked in to events in the Doctor’s slipstream. The effects and music are all a perfect fit for this audio drama. The directing is also well focused. Now, I am no fan of Nick Briggs’ work usually but I found this one to be very enjoyable even though the plot is rather clunky.
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Tom Baker's return as the Fourth Doctor across a range of Doctor Who audio adventures is something I simply haven't been able to get enough of. After series like Hornet's Nest and Demon's Quest (which I really enjoyed!), Tom seems content to produce more and more Fourth Doctor adventures exclusively for audio, which is fine by me.

Especially when it comes to once more locking horns with the Daleks in this excellently produced audio-play. After all, Genesis of the Daleks is the definitive Doctor Who story, so to hear Tom's voice clash against that of Nicholas Briggs (current voice of those metal nightmares!) is a dream come true. With Louise Jameson returning as legendary companion Leela, who finally faces the Daleks for the first-time ever (an event that never happened on television!).

So, stuff to drool over for die-hard Doctor Who fans, yes? Certainly, and for the majority, Energy of the Daleks is an audio-drama that boasts exceptional performances from Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Nicholas Briggs, Mark Benton and the rest of the cast. Big Finish Productions (under license from the BBC) truly work their magic with the music and sound-effects. What you're listening to's just like fantasizing a modern TV episode of Doctor Who. The production values are truly epic and gripping.

The plot of `Energy' sees the Doctor and Leela in the middle of London, with them immediately caught-up in a protest against the GlobeSphere Corporation over a dire energy crisis. As the time-travellers investigate, they soon discover the truth behind it all...and why the Daleks are pulling the strings.

Nicholas Briggs has written and directed this audio drama, and while Energy of the Daleks is an adequate story, it suffers from being too short. More depth and development could've been bestowed upon the plot and the characters if the feature had been made longer. The plot is decent enough, but compared to (say) Prisoner of the Daleks or the Hornet's Nest/Demon Quest series, Energy of the Daleks feels sorely lacking. There are some significant loose ends left over as well, and various plot-holes which bring the grade down.

But the staggering quality of the cast's performance overall, the music and sound-effects, terrific dialogue and Briggs' excellent direction make up for an average story. The Daleks come across as terrifying as always, and the result is a dark, tense adventure that doesn't feel overdone or contrived. The bonus behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew is a nice addition to round things off, too.

While Energy of the Daleks is certainly not an essential purchase for Doctor Who fans, it remains an exciting and quality production for listeners. Worth a listen.
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on 2 October 2012
I wasn't optimistic about this 4th Doctor release.But I was pleasantly surprised how good this was.The Characters were all nicely written for and the daleks were as daft as they were back in the 70's.The story itself,although predictable is explained nicely to visualize clearly in your mind.I enjoyed this so much,that I listened to it twice on the same day.Although short at 2 episodes,its a great Big Finish Audio.
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on 13 February 2013
A thought this a pleasing little adevnture story. It was the first one recorded in Tom Baker return to Dr Who audio adventures and stands up very well. While set in
the Dr Who world of the 1970's it still feels modern and relevent. The performances by the cast and the people doing sound effects etc are outstanding. I like the inclusion of the robomen - a nod to the Peter Cushing cinema version of Dr Who, but probably that and comparison with the truly great Big Finish productions such as Project Twilight and the spectre of Lanyon Moor means only 4 stars.
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on 27 April 2012
Remarkable. I travelled back in time 30 years as Tom and Louise bickered in the Tardis, I could see the eccentric Doctor effortlessly recreated in my mind, and that is proof that these audio plays are well written with strong castings.
This encounter with his greatest enemy is a joy and fast paced just like the original show in the 70s.
These Nicolas Briggs Daleks are bold and stroppy with just the right hint of panic when they discover the Doctor is back to foil them - again. A triumph.
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on 3 November 2014
Excellent cd. I love listening to this. It has a great plot, and great acting. There is nothing to complain about. I would recommend this to any Doctor Who fan.
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