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on 27 April 2017
Cuthbert has hired the Daleks as security guards, rebels kicking up a fuss about their planet going off course, PR disaster for the Conglomerate. The Doctor and Romana wade in with both feet and get caught up and captured by......you guessed it, both sides. Hearing the Daleks screaming "you are under arrest" makes you react with "what?" previous characters reappear such as the long suffering Laan and Cuthbert's toady side kick. the adventure leads into some deft use of time travel and another villain who makes Cuthbert look philanthropic by contrast, (no Spoilers) Well written and performed by all it shows what can be done if people put their minds to it, tv series that never got made at the time, seems like they have caught up with the missing bits at last.
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on 7 June 2017
Not very good as it is only part one very unhappy.
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The latest release in the series of Doctor Who audios to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor. With Mary Tamm as Romana. And this one also features John Leeson as the voice of K9.

This is the penultimate release in this run, and it's the start of a two part season finale.

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

It does feature characters who appeared in the earlier two part story in this season that finished with Doctor Who: War Against the Laan (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures). It also does reference events from that. But there's not too much continuity knowledge from that story required for this one, so casual listeners might be able to get into it without much trouble.

Since this is another two parter, though, it does mean it finishes on a cliffhanger. Which will be resolved in The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures).

This story sees the TARDIS land in the Proxima system, where the Doctor intends to investigate some strange readings. He finds the place under the control of the Daleks. Who have suppressed the locals, and only a handful of rebels are continuing the fight.

Also there is Cuthbert, ruthless tycoon first met in the earlier two parter. Why are he and the Daleks working together? nd what precisely are they working on.....?

This feels like the first two episodes of a four part tv story of the time, in that it sets up things and then has the Doctor investigate. Then a cliffhanger. It has that feel in ways other than the story, though. With excellent sound design and music that really make it feel like something that could have been on tv in 1978. Added to which the setting and many of the character names all feel like something that might have been written by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks and writer of many of their stories. All of which adds to the charm.

Cuthbert is an excellent and three dimensional character as he's not bad just for the sake of it, and you really have no idea which way his loyalties will go in the end. There are strong scenes of the Doctor inspiring rebels and belittling the Daleks, plus Romana being delightfully disdainful of them also.

The pace of the story is good and it zips along very nicely. It's not quite a five star release simply because you're only in effect getting half a story here. But it will leave you eager to find out what will happen next.

There's a trailer for the aforementioned next release on the cd track after the end of part two.

And roughly sixteen minutes [approx] of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 October 2014
This is the first part (in two episodes) of a story that continues in The Final Phase, and features Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor with Mary Tamm as Romana I. This story and The Final Phase was the last story Mary Tamm worked on; she was ill at the time of recording but determined to continue and complete the story. She is, and will continue to be sadly missed by all who respected her talent and presence in the Doctor Who world.

The Dalek Contract is a milestone in other ways as well. It is the first time that K-9 comes into contact with the Daleks directly, and there are some rather nice exchanges between him and the Daleks at one point in the story. And it is also the first time that Romana comes up against the Daleks, although as a well-studied Timelady she has of course heard much about them.

The Doctor has turned off the Randomiser again, much to Romana’s disgust, but he excuses his actions by saying that there are dangerous particles leaking into space which could rupture the Universe itself. And when they find out that the Conglomerate (under the utterly despicable Cuthbert) (from prevous stories The Sands of Life, and War Against the Laan) is involved, the fate of the Universe seems shaky at best. Can Romana, the Doctor and K-9 find out what Cuthbert is up to, and defeat the Daleks?

This is a great story, and really eerily reminiscent of the great days of the 1970s stories; even the music is spot-on and takes you back to those heady days. Tom Baker is in top form as always, and it’s great to have the new interactions with Romana and K-9, and Cuthbert AND the Daleks! Really it’s like a big reunion with old, and new friends. The story is action-packed and sets itself up well for the next part in The Final Phase. Fantastic.
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on 14 August 2013
Nick Briggs Dalek story of last season was enjoyable and OK, but this season's is a real winner. The characters are all larger than life and the Daleks more Dalekier than ever! This and the truly excellent music score make this a quintessential Tom Baker vs. the Daleks episode. It is also helped by being a four episode story, as Two episoders never truly work for me because they cannot recreate the feel of the Tom Baker era. Can't wait for the conclusion!
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on 22 March 2015
‘The Dalek Contract’ is not a complete story in its own right. Rather, it forms the first half of a four part story along with the following, and last, release in this series, ‘The Final Phase’. As such it doesn’t really work independently and needs to be listened to in conjunction with ‘The Final Phase’; better yet, the two need to be listened to consecutively to fully appreciate them. However, the split of the story across two discs is a minor irritation and is more than compensated by the Dalek epic the two releases form which provides the series with a big finale.

These two stories also follow on from the earlier releases in the series ‘The Sands of Time’ and ‘War Against the Laan’ (which were also two releases that formed one complete story). ‘The Dalek Contract’ is not a direct sequel to these, however. There is a lot of talk about the Laan in the opening stages to remind us of them and their story. The focus at the outset of this story is not on the actual incident with the Laan but on what caused it to happen, the secret experiments of Cuthbert. The Doctor was clearly concerned with what Cuthbert was up to during the previous encounter. Now he has actively sought out this experiment; deliberately overriding the randomiser much to the chagrin of Romana. This possibly reflects the difference that still exists between Romana and the Doctor. With her faith in Time Lord education and society still present, she lacks the willingness to intervene that the Doctor possesses. She still has that typical Time Lord perspective that the Doctor is a trouble causer. Interestingly this seems to change somewhat by the end of ‘The Final Phase’.

The story has many typical Dalek elements. The Daleks are using one of their more subtle tactics and are pretending to be working for Cuthbert whilst they work towards their own ends, such as they do in ‘The Power of the Daleks’ or Victory of the Daleks’. Cuthbert, like a fair few characters in Doctor Who before him, is naïve and gullible enough despite his intelligence to believe that he can make use of the Daleks and even control them. There is also a group of rebels fighting back at a desperate disadvantage. It is good to see the Daleks exhibiting cunning to remind us how intelligent they are as well as physically powerful.

With some good performances throughout and a more than active role than usual in this series for K-9 there is plenty to be enjoyed. It misses the chance, however, to pull off a memorable cliff hanger. The conclusion to this disc is functional and adequate but not that exciting or original. It does set things up nicely though for ‘The Final Phase’.
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on 20 August 2013
K9 and the Daleks!! At last!! All the cast are great and the story's pretty cool! David Warner is superb.
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on 26 August 2013
Bought as a gift for a big Doctor Who fan. They enjoyed the story on this disc and would recommend.
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on 17 July 2013
I've been a fan of Doctor Who since 1970, when Jon Pertwee first made his cloak-billowing appearance as the heroic Time Lord. By the time we got to the era of the Doctor and Romana the dream teams of producers and directors had passed and we had Graeme Williams' somewhat quirky take on the series, replacing the horror and violence of Tom Baker's early seasons with comedy... and K9. I fell out of love with the series during this period... mostly down to the presence of K9 and the affected quirkiness.
So I was a bit disappointed to find that, upon listening to this story, I was whisked back to those days... it was exactly like a 1978 Doctor Who story, even down to the music.

Tom sounds like he's getting into this one, and the late Mary Tamm tries hard to recapture the aloofness of the original Romana. David Warner can do no wrong in my book, and delivers a wonderful performance here... and as ever Nick Briggs gives us the best Daleks this side of David Graham and Ray Barrett. However it all feels so... light, just like the period it so authentically emulates.

I still hate K9.
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