Audio Review: Doctor Who: Daleks – The Chase
THE chase is on in the latest audiobook version of a classic Who novelisation, this time hailing from the programme’s second season way back in 1965.
Having defeated them on their home planet of Skaro and thwarting their invasion of Earth, the Doctor has finally gained the dubious status of arch enemy for the insidious Daleks, prompting them to develop their own means of time travel in a bid to hunt him down wherever he might land the TARDIS.
What follows is a desperate pursuit across various planets and time-zones, taking in the desert world of Aridus, the top of the Empire State Building, onboard the Mary Celeste, inside a haunted house attraction at the Festival of Ghana, and finally the planet Mechanus, home to the flame-throwing Mechonoids…
At each step of the way, the Doctor and his companions Ian, Barbara and Vicki are forced to outwit their Dalek pursuers as well as dealing with whatever fresh situation they find themselves in, but sooner or later their luck will undoubtedly run out…
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The original television serial of The Chase would have offered viewers a new location to explore every week, and it is that episodic nature of this story which is it’s biggest downfall, as it requires a certain suspension of disbelief watching the TARDIS crew make a narrow escape from the Daleks week after week.
As a novel, writer John Peel has moved away from those obvious restrictions to add some depth of character and situation to proceedings, which means this audio version probably works a lot better as a narrative than it did on screen.
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Perhaps one of the weakest of the classic series’ Dalek stories, and showing early signs of creator Terry Nation’s lack of imagination when it comes to his progeny, there’s still much to be recommended here, including the poignant departure of original companions Ian and Barbara.
Nicholas Briggs, the current voice of the Daleks on TV, returns here to provide Maureen (Vicki) O’Brien’s reading with added colour, complemented by some first-rate sound and music work.