Thursday, November 22, 2012

Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (full cast) - AudioReview

Article author: Alwyn Ash

"Robert Ayres's linking narration couldn't have been better, allowing for a smooth and intruiging transaction that compliments the original script..."

Season Twelve's Genesis of the Daleks had been a sharp, fully imagined story of birth and death, conspiracy and campaign, war and degradation. It was always going to be a hard act to follow. And yet in 1979 Destiny of the Daleks did just that, though with far less clarity and strength. The Key To Time quest now over, the Doctor and Romana (short for Romanadvoratrelundar) are travelling once more. And, of course, the Time Lord's companion wishes to have a change. And so we observe as she tries on different "bodies", a self-inflicted regeneration. Following this the time travellers arrive on an inhospitable dusty planet, a world the Doctor is quite sure he has visited before. What follows is seperation due to underground explosions, the Doctor trapped and Romana going for help.

Unlike its 1975 counterpart, the first in the Dalek adventures to star actor Tom Baker, Destiny is a much lighter experience than its predecessor. Reaching deadlock in a war against humanoid enemies the Movellans, the Daleks seek out their creator Davros, believing that the genius Kaled will help them to overcome the stalemate. This was to be Terry Nation's last script for Doctor Who.

I have to admit, there had been high expectations that this adventure would be released as a classic novel audiobook, featuring the eye-catching cover as designed by artist Andrew Skilleter. So of course the cover that we end up with is a little disappointing. However, like the Horror of Fang Rock there is much to admire about this release. Firstly Robert Ayres's linking narration couldn't have been better, allowing for a smooth and intruiging transaction that compliments the original script, polished by actress Lalla Ward's own delivery. And though this reviewer had been hoping for Tom Baker himself to have lent his vocal talents (as he did in 1979 for Genesis), there is no doubting Ward's ability. Included in this 2-CD package is both a PDF of the original camera scripts and an interview with Lalla Ward, recorded on 21st August 2012 by David Darlington, who also produced the soundtrack.

And so back to the story. If original Davros Michael Wisher gave menace to the character, a performance that Terry Molloy also delivered later on in the series, then sadly British actor David Gooderson missed out. His only contribution to Doctor Who, Gooderson failed to recapture the magic that had made the Kaled scientist such an iconic villain. Of course, he had suffered problems including a laytex mask that didn't fit too well - the decision had been made to re-use Wisher's after the actor had been unable to reprise the role.

There is something subdued about Destiny. That said however, in context with the plot we engage in a story where the Daleks are struggling in a war against an equal force, unable to triumph and exterminate. This in itself is alien to the Daleks, who are far more used to conquering worlds and enslaving races. They are also seeking help from the one being who had been left for dead by his own creations, although Davros' vision outreaches theirs, "Errors of the past will be rectified..."

No matter its weakness, this is a Dalek adventure and one that explores their need for outside assistance, no matter how powerful their race has become. Their logic can also be their Achilles' heel. Davros' independant thought - and the Doctor's, as the Movellans realise - lacks no such defect. As an addition to AudioGO's catalogue of TV soundtracks, this deserves a listen. Engage in the fun. The Daleks are back...

You can purchase Doctor Who TV Soundtracks at AudioGO Ltd: UK websiteUS website