Fourth Doctor Tom Baker dips his toe into the Time Lord Victorious story arc in ‘Genetics of the Daleks‘, the final contribution from Big Finish Productions.
It may be considered a brave choice to omit our hero from the action for over 15 minutes. What it does provide however is an opportunity to become familiar with the cast of characters and the environment they are in. As usual, when he does appear he is blamed for what is going on. Keeping things interesting are the multiple threads and motivations of the characters involved. Jonathan Morris has composed a clever and intriguing story with some familiar components.
This new story builds on an interesting element seen on television in ‘Resolution‘ and ‘Revolution‘ episodes starring Jodie Whittaker; namely a Dalek mutant outside of it’s casing. As the title suggests this story also delves into the amalgamation of Dalek genetic material with that of humanoids. Again we have seen this before to a certain extent with the Dalek Sec hybrid back in ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks‘. However, that occurs on a much grander scale here.
The familiar vocals of Pippa Haywood (I remember The Brittas Empire very fondly) adds an air of authority to the situation as Capt. Graff. Similarly, Clive Mantle as Medical Officer Chuke is also recognisable from his many years on Casualty and later Holby City. Then there is Nina Toussaint-White (Security Officer Swann) who was of course Melody in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler‘. Completing the cast are Joseph Kloska (Pilot Finlay) and Andrew James Spooner (Professor Brooke), both no strangers to Big Finish audios. In the safe hands of director Jamie Anderson pulling together everything superbly the final piece is an excellent audio adventure.
Who is the Time Lord Victorious?
There is a particularly electric scene with Nicholas Briggs‘ Dalek and Tom Baker‘s Fourth Doctor. Here the Dalek mutant with knowledge of the future taunts the Doctor. The creature tells of a version of the Time Lord who abandons the attitudes of his fourth incarnation. That individual, the Time Lord Victorious, is responsible for the destruction of the Dalek Time Squad to which this particular Dalek was a part. But who does the Dalek mean?
Having recently caught up with Mutually Assured Destruction, which saw the Eighth Doctor trapped on a disintegrating Dalek time ship, I was left intrigued to know more. Therefore as a tool to draw me and others into the wider Time Lord Victorious arc it also succeeds. Time to pick up the two novels, The Knight, The Fool and The Dead and All Flesh is Grass, I think.
‘Genetics of the Daleks‘ is a strong story. Although some of the constituent parts have been seen elsewhere before they don’t feel borrowed. If anything it all feels appropriate and unique to this particular story. With a talented cast, headed of course by Tom Baker, carrying the impressively arranged plot forward the runtime flies by. This may be the only outing for the Fourth Doctor in Time Lord Victorious but it is a highly enjoyable one. The Dalek involved in this story connects with the two Escape Room games; A Dalek Awakens and The Hollow Planet. ‘Genetics of the Daleks‘ is highly effective without experiencing these two games but it does add some additional context. Although it stands confidently in isolation, it has also driven me to engage in the wider story beyond the Big Finish contributions. Mission accomplished.
There are 10,000 humans in stasis aboard Starship Future. Ten thousand humans expecting to wake up on a distant planet, their new home. But twenty years into their journey, Starship Future takes on board fuel – and something else. Something that’s been waiting, frozen in space, for a very long time.
Something with a plan.
Unless the Doctor can help, it looks like the people of Starship Future have no future at all…
- Tom Baker (The Doctor)
- Nicholas Briggs (The Dalek / Dalek Mutant)
- Pippa Haywood (Captain Graff)
- Joseph Kloska (Pilot Finlay)
- Clive Mantle (Medical Officer Chuke)
- Andrew James Spooner (Professor Brooke)
- Nina Toussaint-White (Security Officer Swann)