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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The daleks have been done to death in doctor who, not many people now do good stories featuring these old classic but in my opinion overrated monsters. But it is great that nearly every big finish play to feature the daleks has been excellent, with new and fresh ideas to revive a waning monster. The guys at big finish always seem to bring back monsters well that otherwise wouldnt even be that interesting. New stories and new yarns are what are needed!

The apocalypse element is BIG. its one of the few big finish audios that really sound like a film on disc. most stories are great doctor who stories on audio, but not as grand as to make them feel like a film. One of the things about this play is its scale. And it involves Romana, closer to her screen persona than the confused and mixed up idiot she is in the far too politically based spin 0ff series gallifrey. I like Romana as a character and i feel she is badly done in the gallifrey series. But in all of her doctor who appearances she is nearer to her screen counterpart and this is one of her best performances as a captive of the daleks. This story develops well and at quite a fast pace considering how long this play is. But it is highly entertaining with plenty of great dalek moments. They are totally psychotic on this one i tell you. And there are plenty of great and gross moments. Colin Baker of course is on top form as the underappreciated sixth doctor, and Maggie Stables is brilliant as Evelyn.

So, all in all this is a fine adventure, a lot mkore enjoyable than Stephen's last effort for the big finish series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Listening to Gallifrey VI, Romana makes reference to a time when she was a prisoner of the Daleks on Etra Prime. I thought I should re-listen to this story, which is the aftermath of that time in Romana’s life. This story is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the first ‘official’ reference to Romana’s return to normal space from her time in E-Space, where she left the Fourth Doctor in ‘Warrior’s Gate’ and can be seen as leading into the Gallifrey Big Finish audio series. It is also reference-worthy to the Dalek Empire Big Finish audio series, where the further machinations of the Daleks relating to this story are referenced, particularly in regard to the Seriphia galaxy. The incidents on Etra Prime could also reasonably be seen as important early shots in the ultimate Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords on Gallifrey. The Monan Host are introduced for the first time in this story. They are referenced heavily in the BF Gallifrey audio series, and are important as introductions to the concept of other temporal powers having time travel capabilities. This story follows on closely from the story in ‘The Genocide Machine’, and the story is continued after ‘The Apocalypse Element’ in ‘The Mutant Phase’, concluding in ‘The Time of the Daleks’. For these reasons, and because this story is actually very good, I would thoroughly recommend it.

The story is one of two parts (each part of two episodes); the first part of the story takes place on Archetryx, where temporal powers are gathering to share information. Archetryx has for the last twenty years been notable mainly for the disappearance from its orbit of Etra Prime, where many scientists and other personnel disappeared along with the planetoid. One of those who disappeared was the President of the Time Lords, Romanadvoratrelundar. When the Doctor (the Sixth Doctor, as played by Colin Baker) and Evelyn find themselves landing on Archetryx unexpectedly, little do they know what else is about to happen.

The second part of the story takes place on Gallifrey itself. The events of the first two episodes of the story lead into the third and fourth episodes seamlessly, as the scope of the Dalek plans become ever more horrifying. Can the Doctor and Evelyn do anything to stop them? And at what cost in lives and to time itself?

Brilliant – I would recommend this unreservedly. Colin Baker and Maggie Stables are on top form in this story. The other actors (I won’t itemise them for fear of spoilers) are totally brilliant in their roles. The Daleks (no spoiler that they are predominantly active in this story) are at their amoral best. Totally wonderful; 140 minutes of pure classic Doctor Who at its best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2015
Get ready and brace yourself for Dalek non-stop action-adventure!

The Daleks invade Gallifrey! What?! Does that mean the Time War starts here?!

This is 'The Apocalypse Element', a four-part adventure by Stephen Cole with Colin Baker's Doctor and his companion Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe. It also features the return of Lalla Ward as Romana, who is now President of the Time Lords, and the Daleks come to attack Gallifrey.

The Doctor and Evelyn arrive on the planet Archetryx where a temporal peace conference takes place. The Doctor learns that his friend Romana is missing and a prisoner of the Daleks. The Daleks soon invade Gallifrey and are about to use their new weapon to destroy the entire galaxy.

I found this a pretty fast-paced and action-packed adventure to listen to by Steve Cole. It feels like an action-packed Dalek movie. There's a lot going on and it's a job to keep up with the plot and characters. You may want to listen to this adventure a number of times, but it's pretty exciting.

What struck me about this audio adventure is that it depicts the conflict between the Daleks and the Time Lords. This is what could have been the inspiration for Russell T. Davies and a precursor for the new series with the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords.

This is the first Big Finish audio with Colin Baker's Doctor where he faces the Daleks. The only Dalek story Colin's Doctor had on TV was 'Revelation of the Daleks'. So it's great that Colin has had more Dalek stories on audio compared to the TV series, and this is one of many encounters.

Colin Baker delivers a superb performance as the Doctor in this adventure. I like how Colin's Doctor interacts with the Time Lords and how he copes with the increasing chain of events with the Daleks invading Gallifrey. He also shows his concern for Romana when learning she's been captured.

Maggie Stables is equally good as Evelyn Smythe, the Doctor's elderly companion. For Evelyn, this is the first time she encounters the Daleks and gets to go to Gallifrey with the Time Lords. Evelyn has her own adventure and is the calming presence for the Doctor when he gets abrasive and agitated.

It was good to hear Lalla Ward as Romana. Romana has come a long way since escaping E-Space and becoming President of the Time Lords. She's had her own fair share of meeting Daleks and has a hard time being their prisoner. She's surprised when she meets Colin's Doctor for the first time.

The rest of the cast include Time Lords and Time Ladies like Michael Wade as the President; Andrea Newland as Commander Vorna; Karen Henson as Monitor Trinkett and James Campbell as Monitor Ensac. There's also Anthony Keetch as Coordinator Vansell, who the Doctor's met before apparently.

The Daleks are menacing as ever, voiced by Nicholas Briggs and Alistair Lock. The Daleks use their new weapon - the apocalypse element - which is a temporal crystal that could destroy both the Time Lords and an entire galaxy. Things get tense for the Doctor when he has to stop their evil plans.

There's a moment at the end of 'Part One' when the Doctor and Monitor Trinkett go into a 'gravity well' and get attacked by a live Dalek mutant that was quite frightening to listen to and imagine.

There are plenty of references to Time Lords and Gallifrey that I found quite a job to fully absorb in my mind. Some were familiar such as the Seal and the Rod of Rassilon and the Matrix. But there were plenty that I never heard before and would feature in future 'Gallifrey' stories.

A lot of things happen in this story that become links to spin-off series of 'Doctor Who' within the Big Finish audio realm. These include Romana's presidency that links to the spin-off series 'Gallifrey' and also the Daleks' schemes that occur in the 'Dalek Empire' series shortly afterwards.

The CD extras include a special trailer for the first season of adventure with the Eighth Doctor and Charley in Big Finish. There is also a trailer for the next 'Doctor Who' audio CD release called 'The Fires of Vulcan' with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor.

I enjoyed hearing 'The Apocalypse Element' with Colin's Doctor, Evelyn, Romana and the Daleks. I don't think I've grasped everything that happens in the story. But its good non-stop action and you'll have to listen to it a number of times in order to get a clearer grasp of the story.

The next story for the Doctor and Evelyn is 'Bloodtide'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the eleventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Maggie Stables as Evelyn. It also sees the return of favourite old companion Romana II (played by the ever lovely Lalla Ward) to the Whoniverse. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.

As other reviewers have said, the scale of this adventure is really BIG. The tinpot dictators have, as ever, a plan to take over the universe. It's complicated, involving disappearing planets, a kidnapped time lady and lots of running around screaming `Exterminate', `Obey' and other motivational phrases. The scope and ambition of the story is almost too much for a hundred minute audio adventure, with lots and lots going on as things reach a final thrilling dénouement.

Credit to the Big Finish team, they manage to hold it all together. The script is excellent, and allows all the actors to shine. Baker is in form as Six, all galloping energy and imperiousness but with less arrogance and more compassion than his TV persona. Romana is given a high impact re-entry, and Lalla Ward plays it to perfection. Big Finish have done well with the Daleks, and in this and their previous appearance (the excellent Genocide Machine) they have managed to do something new with them, amplifying their cunning, ruthlessness and dedication to the masterplan. The audio effects are window rattling, and there is plenty of high energy action. It's entertaining, thrilling and in places moving. A credit to all involved and one of my favourite stories in the entire range. 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2013
Russell T Davies once referred to this story as the first act of the time war and I can see why. Insane Daleks attempt to destroy Gallifrey and the rest of the universe using the apocolypse element (slightly similar to the reality bomb in Journey's End from Series 4).

This story is grand and epic. It signals the return of Romana to the Doctor Who universe (and it's as if Lala Ward was never away).

You will really have to listen closely to this audio because there is so much going on. It has such a cinematic scope, which sometimes confuses things when the story is moving at such a fast pace.

I really enjoyed this one, and I think it's one of the best ones I've listened to so far.

However, I do have two negative comments. The ending felt rushed and too abrupt and Evelyn is a lot more irritating in this story than previous ones.
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on 15 April 2009
An epic Doctor Who adventure from Big Finish, The Apocalypse Element is sweeping and grandiose and is one of the best in the series so far. Apart from the ever-irritating Evelyn Smythe this is top-notch; the addition of former companion Romana as incumbent President of Gallifrey is simply the icing on a damn fine cake.
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on 25 January 2015
Great Doctor Who Audio drama with the Daleks and Romana and Colin Baker is Good as the Doctor. He gets better in these Audio drama's. you can imagine whats happening in these stories with all the sound effects and very good acting. Great for any Doctor Who fan.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2006
This is in my opinion one of the best Big Finish adventures - it sweeps along at a cracking pace to its unexpected ending. The Fifth Doctor and Evelyn are on top form - the scope of the story is worthy of being made in to a TV film - would be great.

The main tenet of the story is interesting - how far do you go to stop destruction of other worlds even at the possible destruction of your own. The ending is a shock too and thought provoking - listen to it and make your own mind up.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Daleks.

Romana.

Other time Lords.

Gallifrey.

Planets being invaded.

Galactic size threats.

An absolutely epic story that would make a great blockbuster movie, but it's just too big in scale for the audio to properly realise it. As a result we have something that promises to be really great, but never quite clicks. And it may not stick in the mind too long as a result. Which is a shame.

Great cliffhanger to episode two, though
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2010
The Cockroches are back again Sorry the Daleks are back and this time they are complitly insane it makes you wonder when did the Daleks go insane basicly saying if they can't rule the cosmos then they will destroy it I think you really see the arogance of the Daleks here also The Doctor is rightly horrifide by the Dalek plain i love the speech he gives Evlin when he tells her of the destruction that has egan in the universe wonderful.
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