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Flaming henry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 14 January 2016
Rating:   10

This story has to join "Enemy of the Daleks" and "Jubilee" and "The Curse of Davros" as Big Finish's finest scripts for the famous pepper pots from Skaro. Its great how new avenues never seem to run out with these metal beasties as Jamie would say. The story in this episode is really superb and surprisingly thought provoking too. And Jonathan Morris does what he always does and tells a frankly excellent story which is then added to by the brilliant acting of the performers. This story is hugely enjoyable, and is already one of my favourite audio stories from Big Finish. Bonnie Langford is no longer a screamer which is a bit of a relief as it gives us yet again the chance to hear what a brilliant companion she is.

That 1987 Smell

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 8 September 2016
Rating:   7

"We Are the Daleks" has everything that was right about 1987 Doctor Who and everything that was wrong about it. First, to the parts that were right. In 1987, there was a concerted effort to make Doctor Who different from what it had previously been with Davison and C. Baker. So, it was less action/adventure oriented and more concept oriented. "We Are the Daleks," certainly has the concept down, with the Daleks this time trying conquest by international (intergalactic if you like) corporate takeover rather than military strategy. At least at first. There was also a concerted attempt to make Doctor Who more "contemporary." In "We Are the Daleks" this is done by having the Daleks introduce a computer game far in advance of those from 1987, thus linking the 1987 setting to 2015 lifestyles. In 1987, there was also an effort to make the dialogue quicker. Again, this script follows that formula well.

Now onto the parts that were wrong. One oft noted problem in 1987 Doctor Who was that scripts were often split personalities, and it was unclear just what effect the writers were aiming for. Often, this resulted in scripts that were partly satirical, but usually only in the beginning before settling into more standard Doctor Who mode. "We Are the Daleks" has the same problem. It begins with some lively satire of Thatcherite economics, including a very Thatcherite politician in Celia Dunthorpe. However, by part three the script has moved on to standard Dalek fair, with space battles and bombast, all satire forgotten apart from the aforementioned Celia Dunthorpe, whose allegiance to the Daleks is meant to serve as social commentary that Thatcherism was just inches away from Nazism. She becomes out of place as a satirical character in what has become a desperate mission war story. Another problem of 1987 Doctor Who was quite a bit of shoddy plotting, so that it seemed that things happened by convenience rather than by necessity. So, for instance, in this story the "alembic field" is remarkably discretionary, affecting only those it needs to affect at the time to keep the script moving. The writer provides weak excuses for this phenomenon - it doesn't work in this room though it works everywhere else, it doesn't work on Time Lords, it doesn't work on people already sympathetic to Dalek thinking (then why does it amplify Dalek psychology in Daleks, driving them to self-destruction?).

So, like 1987 Doctor Who, "We Are the Daleks" is a decidedly mixed experience.

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