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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
'The Mutant Phase' is of my favourite Dalek stories in 'Doctor Who' from Big Finish!

It stars Peter Davison as the Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa (my favourite `Doctor Who' companion) and sheds a brand new complexion on the Daleks and what they represent. It was the second Big Finish Doctor Who audio I bought with 'Circular Time' and 'Renaissance of the Daleks'.

The story is about the Doctor and Nyssa in the TARDIS being dragged to the planet Earth in the 22nd century in Kansas, America. It's a period of history the Doctor knows as he foiled 'The Dalek Invasion Of Earth'. The Doctor and Nyssa try to escape, before a Roboman captures them and a Dalek arrives.

The Doctor and Nyssa manage to escape from Kansas and get into the TARDIS, only to get caught in a time corridor. They end up in the 43rd century where the Daleks have been waiting for the Doctor. They want him to sort out a new menace that is wiping out the Daleks called...`the Mutant Phase'!

I've had the CD cover of 'The Mutant Phase' signed by lovely Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Nicholas Briggs. This story is from the brain child of Nick Briggs who does everything as the director; writer; producer; sound designer; music maker and the Dalek voices (along with Alistair Lock).

This is truly a remarkable story by one man running things. Nick Briggs is a truly nice guy. I've chatted to him at conventions and mentioned Nyssa's my favourite companion. He commented how lovely Sarah is and I was delighted to hear him say that. He writes Nyssa remarkably well in this story.

Nick Briggs came up with the question of 'what if there was something far more terrifying than the Daleks, and what if the Daleks were afraid of it?' It's an inspired idea and has gone to be the template for some of the new series episodes with Daleks including 'Dalek'.

Here the Daleks are afraid of something happening to their mutant forms and they want to stop it happening. It shows a side to the Daleks we rarely see since they tend to be monotonous. I've done my own 'Dalek' story where they face an enemy far powerful than they are and they become afraid.

I chatted to Sarah Sutton about this story when she signed the CD cover for me in Swansea, 2013. I told Sarah how thrilled I was Nyssa met the Daleks. Sarah was pleased too since she was denied meeting them on TV. It seems right for Nyssa to meet the Daleks during her travels with Doctor.

Nyssa's amazing as she proves her worth as a companion and works well with Peter Davison's Doctor. Nyssa works out things such as escaping the Daleks' time corridor and accessing the TARDIS database on wasps. She gets stung by a wasp which becomes significant in the story.

Nyssa shows how strong she is by kicking butt when being threatened. She questions the Doctor on interfering with history as she makes reference to Adric when they couldn't save him in 'Earthshock'. This is material I'm sure Sarah enjoyed doing as Nyssa when she was working on the story.

Peter Davison is brilliant as the Fifth Doctor. He gets to face the Daleks in his first chronological encounter with them. The Doctor is bothered with the Daleks and the mutant phase connecting to a time paradox. The Doctor uses his sense of humour and I love his scenes with Nyssa in the TARDIS.

This story contains three of the best cliff-hangers I've heard on audio. My favourite is in 'Part Two' when the Doctor is forced to surrender when the Daleks threaten to kill Nyssa. I wondered what will happen next. Another is in 'Part Three' and one I wasn't expecting. I won't reveal in case of 'spoilers'.

The story guest stars Christopher Blake as Professor Ptolem, a Thal scientist working for the Daleks. He is torn between working with the Daleks and betraying his heritage. He's joined by Commander Ganatus (Jared Morgan) as they work to capture the Doctor and deal with the 'mutant phase'.

There's also Mark Gatiss as Professor Karl Hendryk. Mark has gone on to be a new series writer on 'Doctor Who'. Karl is a German professor, who prefers being in the dark. He shows the Doctor a dead mutant creature and tells what happened when the Earth was attacked in the 43rd century.

I enjoyed the Daleks in this audio. They remind me of the new series Daleks especially with Nick Briggs doing the voices. They get hyper and psychotic when giving out orders. The Daleks are on a panic attack when one of their units breaks out and becomes a 'mutant phase' creature.

I was terrified when a Dalek was inside the TARDIS and commands the Doctor to pilot the TARDIS to Skaro. I couldn't help think of the Daleks in their bronze form from the new series when listening to this audio. My mind's spoilt by new series Dalek atmospheres and settings these days.

The Dalek Emperor appears in this audio. I can't help but think of the Dalek Emperor in 'The Parting of the Ways'. The Emperor commands the Doctor to go back to 22nd century Earth to stop the 'mutant phase' from happening. It's a request the Emperor does not trust the Doctor to carry out.

In my opinion, the ending is the weakest part of the story. The paradox folds in on itself and there's a slow-motion sequence where the Doctor and Nyssa escape. Leaving in the TARDIS, Nyssa demands an explanation on what's happened. The Doctor gives her one. It's a pretty weak explanation.

Like Nyssa I couldn't get what the Doctor was on about. It didn't make sense as the end was rather rushed and I'm sure for many fans left them unsatisfied. I'm still not clear about what the story's final moments were. I'm glad Nyssa was there to say 'it didn't make sense' and that it wasn't just me.

The CD extras are as follows. There's a trailer for the first Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) audio adventure Charley Pollard called 'Storm Warning'.

'The Mutant Phase' is one of my favourite Dalek stories from the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa adventures. It's an exciting adventure where Nyssa meets the Daleks and is truly a new take on something we rarely see in the Daleks before. The conclusion's weak but for the most part it's a gripping tale.

The next story for the Doctor and Nyssa is 'Primeval'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the fifteenth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Pater Davison as Five and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. 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.

There are some strange goings on in the Universe. The Doctor is being chased by the Daleks, who are trying to drag him and the TARDIS to a particular time and place. There are some strange bumps in the time tracks, and just why does the Emperor Dalek want a word with him? The answer to this question is surprising, and leads to a satisfying Who tale with some excellent concepts and realisation.

Once again the Big Finish team have managed to take the Daleks and do something new and interesting with them. Here they are faced with a threat that terrifies them, and they are helpless against. It's an inspired story idea, and leads to some superb voice acting as the actors try to convey the Daleks fear in their emotionless voices. The story's conclusion is also an inspired idea, with the meddling in the time lines resulting in some well drawn and interesting consequences.

In all a well scripted play with some fascinating concepts, a few nods to famous events in the TV series to keep the fans alert, and some superb performances from the principles (not least Davison, who is full of compassion and thought in some nicely done scenes between him and Nyssa). 5 stars for this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2013
The Mutant Phase is a fantastic Dalek story.

It marks the first proper appearance of the Dalek Emperor since 1967's Evil of the Daleks and Peter Davison gives the brilliant kind of performance that we didn't start seeing until the end of his TV era.

The settings (Kansas 2158 AD, London 4253 AD, Skaro) are all great.

My favourite line is the Dalek Emperor's "I am Emperor of the Daleks! Destined to be ruler of the universe!"

I can't fault much, but the ending isn't that great - it just feels so sudden and it left me wanting more.

Overall Rating: 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2014
Excellent Dalek story with Peter Davison as the Doctor. its a Temperal Paradox story much like Day of the Daleks was with the Late and Great Jon Pertwee. so if you like Day of the Daleks you will enjoy this. Excellent Story too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2009
As this latest Big Finish audio adventure opens, we see the usually impervious and unstoppable Daleks succumbing to a new disease, known only as `the mutant phase'. Coming seemingly out of the blue, the disease strikes quickly and infects even more quickly, despite the Dalek's armoured casings.

However, the disease doesn't kill the Daleks, instead it liquefies the brain but leaves the body intact, turning the diseased Daleks into a mindless swarm that seeks its survival by eating everything of value on a planet - the animals, the vegetation, even the minerals. The swarm is devastating planets and destroying Daleks with a voracious and seemingly inexhaustible hunger. Even more terrifying is that the disease multiplies even as it decimates the Dalek fleets, one at a time.
Naturally, landing slap-bang into the middle of this, are The Fifth Doctor and his companion Nyssa. Quickly making contact with a small group of human survivors, the time travellers soon find themselves being asked to help the Time Lord's mortal enemies...

Although zombie Daleks are an interesting concept, Mutant Phase is really only of interest to Dalek fans and those already following the Dalek Empire spin-off series. And what's with the awful front cover, was Clayton Hickman having a day off?
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"In the 22nd century, the Daleks have occupied planet Earth. By the 43rd century, only a handful of humans survive. Still further into the distant future, a Thal scientist must choose whether to betray his heritage, or see the universe destroyed.
"When the Doctor and Nyssa find themselves trapped in this deadly chain of events, they must decide who their real enemies are. What is certain, however, is that no matter where the Doctor turns... his arch enemies, the Daleks, will be waiting for him.
"What could possibly be worse than that? The Mutant Phase..."
The Mutant Phase is the third Big Finish release (after The Genocide Machine and The Apocalypse Element) to fall under the Dalek Empire brand. However, it has as little to do with the other two stories as they have with each other.
In fact, The Mutant Phase has more to do with "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" than anything else. Part of the story is set in the same timeframe, and features saucers and Robomen. A nice bit of continuity. Having said that, Earth in 2158 AD is just one of the many locations in space-time that Nicholas Briggs' storyline visits.
There's an epic feel to the The Mutant Phase lent to it by its aeon-spanning storyline, but unfortunately at four episodes it's not long enough to explore the contexts fully. Individually they are well-constructed, but the story gets confusing to follow as it cuts between them.
The core of the story revolves around a time paradox, and it's an interesting concept. The script, which despite its tight schedule manages to pause for a few nice character-centric moments, is well constructed, and is backed up by enthusiastic performances from the cast. Peter Davison's Doctor is more on-target than he has been in any Big Finish adventure up to this point, and Sarah Sutton is given more to do as Nyssa and makes the most of it. The Daleks are right on target too - with choruses of "Exterminate!" and orders to "Move!". As things go from bad to worse, however, we almost sympathise with the metal meanies from time to time.
The only character that left me puzzled was a Thal by the name of Ganatus. Was he meant to be the same Ganatus that aided the Doctor and almost romanced Barbara in The Daleks? If so, no reference is made to the past adventure.
Overall, a well-scripted and performed story with nice continuity references, let down only by trying to cram a little too much into its four short episodes.
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