War of the Daleks,
This review is from: Blood of the Daleks: Pt. 2 (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Trapped on the human colony of Red Rocket Rising, the Eighth Doctor has two Dalek threats to deal with. The true Daleks have arrived upon the planet under the false guise of friendship and offer salvation from the dying planet, but have in fact arrived to purify the Dalek bloodline and exterminate the Dalek-Human hybrids created by Professor Martez. In amongst the confusion and violence, the Doctor's newest companion, Lucie Miller, has to work out who her friends really are - the strange pepper pot creatures offering salvation or the unusually dressed and slightly grumpy Time Lord with the police box...
The story continues immediately from the cliff-hanger of the last release, which is a little disorientating and abrupt. Considering how the classic Doctor Who television episodes used to have a slight over-lap of the previous scene when presenting the resolutions of the cliffhangers - a similar approach here would have both preserved the classic Doctor Who feeling and helped refresh the memory of people listening to the story some time after the previous one.
I really enjoyed how his story delved into the darker side of the Doctor, something that the Daleks always seem to bring out of him. The scenes where he coldly exacts a plan to side with the true Daleks to wipe off the beginnings of a secondary Dalek race are very effective, especially when the Daleks praise him as being an 'efficient ally'. Paul McGann really manages to convey the history between his character and the Daleks, despite never appearing on-screen with them himself.
As with the first part, I found the cast to be really strong and it was somewhat easier to tell the difference in voices between Eileen Klint and Asha this time around, since the two didn't share many scenes. The relationship between Lucie and the Doctor is fleshed out a bit more as the begins to trust him a bit more and realises that he is 'the man with a plan'. I also liked the development in the closing scenes where they begrudgingly decide to travel with each other - I think this might be the only companion who didn't want to travel with the Doctor willingly, with is a definite breath of fresh air! I also like the fact that the mystery of her sudden appearance in the TARDIS has been teased and appears to form the basis of this 'season' of adventures. I definitely want to know more about her and the 'witness protection' she seems to be part of.
As a complete story, I can happily recommend this to fans of the TV show who may not have watched any of the classic episodes (or the fairly awful 1996 movie featuring McGann's Doctor in his only televised appearance) - This audio is really strong, both in script and performances and the whole production costs seem to be a cut above the other Big Finish releases, justifying their exclusion from the main range and the new-listener friendly approach.
The CD also includes a trailer for the next episode, The Horror of Glam Rock, which seems to involve the Doctor and Lucie travelling back to 1970's and getting stuck in a motorway service station with a deadly threat outside. I am intrigued to see whether the series continues to remain strong without the draw of a big-name enemy such as the Daleks and will definitely pick it up!