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A Decent Dalek Story

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 21 March 2022
Rating:   7

This story is a 4th Doctor tie-in to the cross-series sequence "Dalek Universe." In itself, it is an enjoyable Dalek story, though not terribly original as they go. In this one, we return to Exxilon a few decades after The Doctor left it in "Death to the Daleks." Only one character returns from the previous story - the native Belal, this time voiced by Nicholas Briggs. True to "Return to ..." stories, writer Nicholas Briggs has resurrected much from the previous story. The humans are still on Exxilon, still mining Perinium to cure a space plague, still at odds with the natives, and someone has partly restored the energy-draining beacon. Nicholas Briggs does quite a bit of work in this one, voicing multiple main characters, including the testy human space captain. Briggs' take on the captain sounds uncannily like Kevin Whately. The main feature of this is to establish the characters of Anya Kingdom and Mark Seven, who feature significantly in other "Dalek Universe" stories. Typically for Big Finish, there is much fiddling with time, so that Anya is meeting a Doctor after her travels with him (Doctor 10), but before The Doctor (4 in this case) has met her. There are other bits of information linking to various other stories. In the end, there are not many surprises given the "Return to..." nostalgia in play with a Dalek story that runs like a Dalek story.

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