Doctor Who Reviews – “The Dalek Contract” And “The Council of War”

Well, my Big Finish monthly mega-review was well-received, so when I review the July titles, it will be in one...

Chris Swanson

Contributor

Well, my Big Finish monthly mega-review was well-received, so when I review the July titles, it will be in one big group. In the meantime, here’s the reviews of of the two remaining June Who audios!

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THE DALEK CONTRACT

Rating: ★★★★☆

‘These creatures have ravaged half the cosmos. They’re experts at this kind of thing. Nothing can stand in their way.’

The Doctor and Romana find themselves in the Proxima System, where enigmatic Conglomerate CEO Cuthbert has been conducting his infamous ‘experiment’. An experiment which might accidentally rip the universe apart.

Meanwhile, living conditions on Proxima Major have become harsh and hostile. Climate change has turned the landscape into a freezing wasteland and an alien power has condemned much of the population to life inside internment camps. For those still clinging to their freedom, the struggle for survival is now beyond desperate and outsiders such as the Doctor and Romana are only seen as a threat.

What is Cuthbert really up to in the Proxima System, and just how does he expect the dreaded Daleks to fit into his plan?

STARRING: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K9/Tollivun), David Warner (Cuthbert), Toby Hadoke (Mr Dorrick), Dominic Mafham (Chidak), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Jane Slavin (Halka), John Dorney (Sterris)

Well, Cuthbert is back, and the Daleks are back. We all know that this isn’t going to end well for at least one of those two. This story is a follow-up to the two-part story, “The Sands of Life” and “The War Against the Laan”, fearing not only the return of Cuthbert, but also showing exactly what he was up to when the Doctor and Romana first turned up.

This story is part one of a two part series, and as such, it’s hard to evaluate. What I’ve heard so far, I enjoyed, but I will say that the idea of Cuthbert working alongside the Daleks doesn’t make much sense. He’s not an idiot, after all, and surely knows what they are capable of. Perhaps this is simply hubris on his part? I’m sure we’ll learn for sure in the second half.

As for the acting, stellar, as always. We’re almost to the end of the second season of Fourth Doctor Adventures, and that’s sad for two reasons. First off, I’ve really enjoyed them. Second, poor Mary Tamm. We’re almost done with her appearances with Big Finish, and she will be dearly missed.

Like I said, it’s hard to evaluate this one without knowing what the second half is like, so tune in later to hear my review of that, and my possibly revised thoughts on this.