Big, bold and rather long, The Daleks’ Masterplan heralded the first real over exposure of The Daleks. This 12-part epic stretched the affection the British public had for these little pepper pots to the limit and also seemed to repeat itself on a regular basis. Before the serial started properly it was preceded by a sort of teaser, Mission To The Unknown, a one part piece that served as a sort of introduction to the story and would affectionately become known as Dalek Cutaway.
After the Myth Makers 4-part story The Daleks’ Masterplan was broadcast. When John Peel novelised The Daleks’ Masterplan he split it into two books and took the title from this single episode and gave it to the first part. The Mutation Of Time, the second volume was named after the original title for the final episode which was called The Destruction Of Time. This review takes both releases into account as they cover one full story.
Doctor Who – Daleks: Mission To The Unknown
Stranded in the jungles of Kembel, the most hostile planet in the Galaxy, Space Security agent Marc Cory has stumbled across the most deadly plot ever hatched – the Daleks are about to invade and destroy the Universe. Cory has to get a warning back to Earth before it’s too late – but the Daleks find him first. Months later the Doctor and his companions arrive on Kembel and find Cory’s message. But it may be too late for Earth – the Daleks’ masterplan has already begun”¦
Doctor Who – Daleks: The Mutation Of Time
The Dalek’s masterplan is well underway. With the Time Destroyer, the most deadly machine ever devised, they will conquer the Universe. Only one person stands in their way – the Doctor. For he has stolen the precious Taranium core which is vital to activate the machine. Travelling through time and space, the Doctor and his companions are forever on the move in case the Daleks track them down. But after several months, to their horror, the TARDIS indicates that they are being followed”¦
Dramatic and bold this is a serious release that grabs listeners by the ears and doesn’t let go. Of the two main narrators Purves in particular stands out delivering each line with such effort you can almost hear the drops of sweat that must have built up on his brow. His take on the Doctor is fun and captures the more alien traits the character possessed. Marsh does her best to keep the urgency up but sometimes her voice is slightly muted by the enthusiastic score. John Peel’s book leaps into your ears and truly comes alive on these audiobooks making it a more enjoyable experience than reading the original paperback.
The addition of Nicholas Briggs as “Voice of the Daleks” helps bridge the two eras of the show together and he is his usual reliable self. What a great job he has, hasn’t he? This is not for casual fans though as the over use of the Daleks throughout the story may become slightly tiresome for them. These two releases add to the original plot but are best listened to in two in separate sittings unless of course you’re on holiday. Perfect listening whilst lazing beside a pool!
As usual there are clips from David Howe’s exceptional On Target book letting us in on the background to the story and the production of the original book.
Obviously if you buy one you must buy the other and for once this isn’t a bad thing. A classic in every sense of the word, just a tad long!
Ordering this story:
Doctor Who – Daleks: Mission To The Unknown is available from BBC Audiobooks. Written by John Peel, it is read by Peter Purves and Jean Marsh, with Dalek voices By Nicholas Briggs. The ISBN is 9781408409985 and the RRP is Â£12.99. You can get a good value purchase of just just Â£7.78 from Amazon
Doctor Who – Daleks: The Mutation Of Time is also from BBC Audiobooks and written by John Peel. Peter Purves and Jean Marsh continue their reading, accompanied by Nicholas Briggs performing Dalek voices. The RRP is Â£12.99 and the ISBN 9781408409992 – purchase this from Amazon for just Â£7.99