Following ‘The Enemy of My Enemy‘ comes the conclusion to this trilogy of Eighth Doctor stories within the Time Lord Victorious story arc. Mutually Assured Destruction provides a grand finale as the Doctor and the Daleks battle for survival. But who will make it out alive?
The last two stories of this Eighth Doctor trilogy have seen the Daleks at their scheming best. But will those schemes come to fruition in Mutually Assured Destruction? It doesn’t seem likely as the story kicks off with the Daleks in deep trouble. So is the Doctor. With the Dalek time-ship in grave peril this release feels a lot like ‘Voyage of the Damned‘. A disaster movie but this time in audio form. This method of story telling proves very effective in situations like this. Whilst I’m sure the talented team at BBC Wales would do an admirable job bringing this story to life in a studio, the freedom of audio and the imagination of the listener opens up such a tale. It is also supported by the strong Sound Design by Peter Doggart and Music by Ioan Morris, which fully immerse the listener into the action.
One of the more intriguing elements is the conflict between the Dalek Time Commander and the Dalek Strategist. Conflict creates drama and it can be difficult to create that conflict in logical cyborgs. However, the Daleks are not your standard cyborgs. The power struggle between Daleks adds an additional element to this story. Credit must go to Nicholas Briggs, the expert Dalek voice artist, who manages to provide variations to create individual Daleks. Throw in a Dalek Executioner gone rogue and you have even more chaos to an already catastrophic situation.
Director Scott Handcock manages to maintain the momentum throughout with energetic performances from Paul McGann, Samantha Béart (Tiska) and Wilf Scolding (Groth). McGann in particular seems to be having a whale of a time in the lighter moments, utilising zero gravity to it’s fullest potential.
Mutually Assured Destruction provides a gripping finale to this thoroughly enjoyable trilogy. Perhaps not in the way one might’ve expected given the promise of a trip to the Dark Times in The Enemy of My Enemy. Instead the adventure presented is no less gripping. Although we aren’t privy to how the Eighth Doctor and the Daleks found themselves in this situation (pick up the book All Flesh is Grass to find out), the result is absolutely worthwhile.
You’d think Dalek stories would become less and less appealing after nearly 60 years of appearances but as Time Lord Victorious is proving this is not the case at all. Lizzie Hopley‘s entry into their history is excellent. Pitching different Daleks up against one another, each with their own personal agenda and a determination to survive, reinforces the conclusion that the Daleks really are the best creation in Doctor Who’s history. They have far more depth and opportunity for storytelling than you might’ve thought possible.
Even if you just engage in individual stories instead of the full story arc of Time Lord Victorious then releases such as this stand on their own two feet admirably. These three Paul McGann audio adventures from Big Finish have been thoroughly enjoyable and a welcome inclusion to Time Lord Victorious.
The fallout of the great battle.
Outnumbered and alone, on a Dalek time-ship careering through the vortex, the Doctor must use all his cunning to survive. As the saucer disintegrates around them, the Doctor is trapped with a crew of increasingly desperate Daleks.
Or are the Daleks trapped with him?
- Paul McGann (The Doctor)
- Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks)
- Samantha Béart (Tiska)
- Wilf Scolding (Groth)