And so, we reach the end of Big Finish’s rather wonderful Seventh Doctor trilogy for 2013 with the excitingly titled Daleks Among Us.
To say that this adventure comes with a lot of expectations would be no less than an understatement. There’s the small matter of the TARDIS crew’s search for the Persuasion device, something that has been prominent in their travels since Persuasion, then there’s Elizabeth Klein’s ever expanding story development arc to build upon as throughout this year’s journey more and more questions regarding her past have come to light, Daleks Among Us also offers the much-anticipated return of Terry Molloy as Davros as well as containing its very own mystery of why everyone on the planet Azimuth seems to deny the fact that a Dalek invasion ever took place.
With all that to think about, the biggest question you’ll want to find out is: does the story deliver? The answer is a definite yes, but you have to concentrate to appreciate it…
Alan Barnes has long been one of Doctor Who’s quintessential writers. Creator of the magnificent Fire and Brimstone, an exceptional Eighth Doctor story for Doctor Who Magazine, as well as many Big Finish adventures for many different Doctors, Barnes helped to steer the Doctor through his television wilderness years from 1990-2005. His last Dalek story, Brotherhood of the Daleks, was a complex and original affair, with a very different kind of Dalek story then a Doctor Who fan might be used to. With Daleks Among Us, Barnes has scaled down the complexity of the story in order to let the characters breathe and assemble to finish off this ambitious trilogy. But don’t for a second think that his originality has taken a hit because of this, far from it in fact, this is a Daleks and Davros story but not one that is taken from the television mould.
In fact, those of you that are expecting a second round between the Seventh Doctor and Davros after their brief screen time together in 1988 may be in for a slight disappointment. This is only because it’s easy to start this adventure believing that this will be a showdown between ancient, furious Time Lord and ancient, furious Kaled but it’s not. Davros is as much of a pawn as some of the other characters in this story; the real payoff is listening to his subtle manipulation at work. Even though he’s one step behind in Daleks Among Us, he still, brilliantly, manages to stay one step ahead. Barnes has paid fitting tribute not to the ongoing story of Davros but to the character that we love to hate and hate to enjoy so much.
Tracy Childs also brings things to a wonderfully epic close with her performance as Doctor Elizabeth Klein. Her discovery of her roots and also her various links to the ongoing Seventh Doctor trilogy all play out well and are tied together thanks to her beautiful performance.
By the end of Daleks Among Us, you will have cheered, cried and smiled unashamedly at the Steven Moffat style ending. This year’s Seventh Doctor trilogy has been one of the best that Big Finish have produced and Daleks Among Us ends the 2013 run for Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor on a high note.
Daleks Among Us is available on CD and download from www.bigfinish.com now.