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.
This is the fifteenth story in the Main Range series by Big Finish, first released in 2000. Written by Nicholas Briggs, this story features the Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison, travelling with Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton. This story follows on loosely from the events in The Genocide Machine (#7 in the Main Range), which started an arc following the further plots and schemes of the Daleks, and The Apocalypse Element (#11), which continued that arc.
Somewhere in space a ship is caught in the wash of a huge cloud of beings travelling in close formation. They find themselves well out of their planned flight path, and next to a planet they had hoped not to see again. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Nyssa are travelling in the Tardis when they find themselves caught in a time corridoor. Attempting to escape it, they find themselves first in a part of the Doctor’s past he remembers only too well, and then in a future the Doctor can’t believe has happened. Can he and Nyssa hope to find out what is going on; and even more to the point, what must the Doctor do to work out what is the right time path?
This is a great story. The references to past Doctor stories, including very early tv stories, are really cleverly done, and fit in very neatly with the narrative offered in this story. While there are some elements of the story which are not explained terribly clearly to start with (like who, what, where, and why, to explain the spaceship at the beginning of the story), things start to fall into place, as we follow behind the Doctor, trying to find out what is happening, and resolve it. Nicholas Briggs has written a delightfully complex story, and has played it out well. Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are in top form as the Doctor and Nyssa, and they are ably supported by a great cast, including Christopher Balke, Jared Morgan, Andrew Ryan, Sara Wakefield and Mark Gatiss, and of course Nicholas Briggs himself. A great Big Finish story, a great Doctor Who story, and a great Dalek story. The Daleks’ plans are followed further in the Main Range in #32, The Time of the Daleks.
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
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?
on 11 April 2006
"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.