Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation

Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation

Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation - Credit: Archant

The voice of the Daleks brings them to the printed page...


THERE is nothing redeemable about the Daleks. Twisted balls of hate locked in an arrogant drive to conquer the universe, they are the antithesis of all that is good and wholesome. So why is the apparently altruistic Dalek Foundation offering new homes and lives free from misery and suffering to the galaxy’s poor and dispossessed?

An intercepted message cube leads the Doctor to three orphaned children whose parents committed suicide rather than surrender to the Daleks. Returning to their home planet, he discovers that the Daleks are considered saviours and benefactors by the grateful population, something which seems anathema to their arch-enemy.

But against the odds, these Daleks aren’t going around exterminating everybody and actually seem to have created a safe and prosperous society of refugees, which of course only arouses the Doctor’s suspicions even more… What exactly are they up to, and how does the Dalek Time Controller fit into their schemes?

Unlike the children seen recently on screen in Neil Gaiman’s Nightmare in Silver, these youngsters are far from obnoxious brats, but are both crucial to the plot and entertaining to boot. This incarnation of the Doctor has a strong affinity with children, and his paternal instincts come to the fore here, in spite of his inherent awkwardness.

Penned by Nicholas Briggs, the man behind Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio range and the voice of the Daleks and the Cybermen, this is one of the strongest Who novels in an age, with some remarkable clever plotting and an approach to the Daleks which will wrong-foot you from the off.

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Despite his affinity with Skaro’s finest, Briggs is remarkably restrained in his use of the Daleks, and focuses much more on their strategic nature than their simple coldblooded exterminating, and the story thrives as a result.

Having Briggs read his own book is unusual, but with his experience in playing an unofficial version of the Doctor (in the long-deleted Audio Visuals range) and the Daleks alike, it means he is in a unique position to successfully tackle both sides of this time-twisting conflict.

A first-rate production of a gripping Doctor-Daleks encounter. Highly recommended.

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