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Published on June 12th, 2009 | by Christian Cawley

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Enemy of the Daleks

Ok let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good Dalek story? Sure I hear people complain that they are overused, but I see some of those same people with a HUGE grin on their faces when they watch or hear one. They’re not fooling me, nor Big Finish it would seen as they gave us a whopper of a good story with May’s release of Enemy of the Daleks.

It’s a bit of a milestone story for Hex as actor Philip Olivier can finally state: “you’re not a companion until you have met the Daleks” as now he has!

This was a nice choice to have Hex and the Daleks come face to face, because Hex has a very unique view of life and to see that view in the face of the Daleks makes for good story telling.

Philip Olivier really impressed me with this story, sure he’s been a fine companion and works very well with Sophia and Sylvester’s characters, but here he really made you feel as if he might be able to change peoples minds about dealing with Daleks, about stopping the bloodshed. He is a nurse after all, he’s dedicated his life towards helping people and making them well. So when it comes down to a battle of survival, survival of the fittest, Hex doesn’t give in. He stands up for what he believes in; the Doctor should be proud.

This is of course, not the view of life that Ace has. She has travelled longer, faced more threats, and encountered the Daleks more often than anyone would ever care to know. Never before thought have I seen a character affect her in the way that Hex has (well, not since the Doctor). Traveling with the Doctor gave Ace her hardened shell, could traveling with Hex help her find her humanity again?

Big Finish have really found a great pairing with Ace and Hex – though the three letter character nicknames for the McCoy companions has to stop – and you can tell that they want so much more for each other and are trying hard to achieve that goal, while at the same time still trying to hold on to who they are.

When the Doctor brings them into dangers den they learn a lot about themselves, as do many of the characters in Enemy of the Dalek. It’s not just a story about Daleks attacking and conquering as they do best; it’s a story about inner demons, fulfilling life long ambitions at any cost, and discovering who you really are. This is quite a different and welcome story.

I said it was different, but it’s not just the tone that’s new and fresh, it’s the atmosphere as well. The music in this adventure is very guitar heavy and completely gets you into the story and helps you to feel your heart racing with the other characters. At first I was taken aback at the choice, but then the story took over and I didn’t want it to stop.

Ace is thrown into her element when the TARDIS team they join forces with an All Woman Dalek Fighting Force, which helps give this story a nice counter balance for Hex, who becomes a bit of a fish out of water. In many respects Hex becomes a “Doctor in training”, trying to stop this war without the use of violence, which is a complete reversal of the years Ace spent on TV also training under the Doctor, but with a much different end result.

If you’ve finally decided to start listening to the Big Finish plays then I would suggest that you start here. It’s got everything anyone could possibly need from a Doctor Who story.

Enemy of the Daleks is available to download or buy on CD from www.bigfinish.com

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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