“Davros” was one of three attempts by Big Finish to take classic villains and tell a story very different from any another the characters have ever had.
As “Genesis of the Daleks” was a story about the creation of the Daleks, “Davros”, in a way, is a story about the creation of Davros without the Doctor travelling to that point in history.
This adventure is set between the televised stories “The Two Doctors” and “Timelash”. It is told in such a fashion that it fits seamlessly into place between the two as well as still keeping true to Davrosâ€™s claims of survival in “Revelation of the Daleks”.
It is also very interestingly written as it deals with current events in Davrosâ€™s life while still exploring his past through the use of dreams.
The story, following the timeline of Davros, happens after the destruction of the prison ship from “Resurrection of the Daleks”. His lifeless body is stolen by Arnold Baynes, CEO of TAI Corp. with the help of his wife Lorraine. They believe that if Davros could be revived his genius could be used to solve universal problems and help keep TAI on the map.
The Doctor answers a call from a friend and upon his arrival discovers their plans and tries to convince them that what they are doing is wrong.
Naturally they cannot be convinced.
Lorraine believes that Davros is a misunderstood scientist and wants to write his autobiography. Arnold thinks that Davros will make him a very rich man. The Doctor knows in his hearts that Davros is evil and will do more harm then Good. When Davros is resuscitated he is convinced that he can change his ways and now wants to help the universe be a better place rather then destroy it.
Arnold and Lorraine believe that the Doctorâ€™s stories of Davros are one sided and continue with their plans to hire him into their company. The Doctor still believes that he is right and convinces Arnold to hire him as well so he can keep an eye on Davros and stop any problems before they happen.
The Doctor and Davros have now become co-workers.
But can everything be that clean cut? Mr. Baynes already has a reporter investigating him for some alleged corporate evil doings. What could Mr.Baynes be up to? And why hire Davros?
Lets talk about Arnold Baynes for a moment, or more so the actor inside.
Bernard Horsfall is already known to many Doctor Who fans as he portrayed many characters such as:
Chancellor Goth in “The Deadly Assassin”
Taron in “Planet of the Daleks”
First Time Lord in “The War Games”
and Gulliver in “The Mind Robber”.
So it is no surprise that he should have made his way to Big Finish to continue his involvement in the shows history.
He plays a very commanding figure, a man who is clearly in charge of any situation and is controlled by one thing. Greed. You realize when listening that his voice is somewhat familiar, it has aged just enough to set him apart from his past characters but if you try hard enough you can start to see a face. Soon after, any one of the characters above comes flooding into your mind.
On audio however you donâ€™t always need to put an actors face with the voice, this you can do all your own. I myself see an older man who is heavier set with a goatee and whitish gray hair. Itâ€™s the face that the voice and performance of the actor have set in my mind.
Lets move on to Lorraine Baynes.
I listened to the entire play knowing full well that former Doctor Who companion Wendy Padbury was one of the actors, and yet I didnâ€™t even realize who she was. Yes I knew what character she was listed as playing but when the story starts you donâ€™t think about that. On a re-listen I could pick her out, but I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by Wendyâ€™s performance. She pulled a chameleon act on me and she did it perfectly.
As this is Doctor Who why not talk about the Doctor.
Many have said this before and Iâ€™m sure I wonâ€™t be the last. Never the less I feel that it needs to be said again, or perhaps to those who have never heard it, for the first time…
No matter what you may have thought about Colin Baker in the past he truly shines as the Doctor on Audio. Weather he was your least favorite Doctor or your number one choice, you will be utterly captivated by his presence in the Big Finish plays.
Lastly we will look at Davros, once again played by Terry Molloy.
It has been said that the Daleks work better without Davros, but did anyone ever consider that Davros might work better without the Daleks? This play proves that Davros can be a one-man act and can easily stand on his own two legs, so to speak.
Terry Molloy has a bit of a difficult task this time around, he is not simply portraying the evil megalomaniacal scientist that we know of old, he is given the chance to show that Davros was once something more then a power obsessed mutant. He has the opportunity to prove that Davros has a heart. An opportunity that the actor did not hold back on.
Davrosâ€™s time in suspended animation ever since “Destiny of the Daleks” was time well spent, if not a bit taxing on his mental capacities. Time to think about his life and the direction he chose, from his first lost “love” to present day.
As I mentioned before when Davros is revived by Arnold and Lorraine he feels that he can now make a difference, he believes that he can solve many problems that plague mankind, and agrees to join TAI to show the rest of humanity that he is a different man.
But can Davros change his stripes? Can he truly make a difference? Could the Doctor really be wrong?
Big Finishâ€™s attempt to tell different types of stories for classic villains truly paid off with this adventure. “Davros” is an interesting and thrilling story that keeps you locked in till the very end and leaves you wanting more.