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The Dalek Universe series begins with this special prequel story starring the Fourth Doctor and Leela: The Dalek Protocol! Read on for our thoughts.
Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, The Dalek Protocol takes us back to the planet Exxilon (last seen in 1974’s Death to the Daleks), where the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) discover their old enemies at work once again. Meanwhile, Space Security Service agents Mark Seven (Joe Sims) and Anya Kingdom (Jane Slavin) arrive on Exxilon as part of a secret mission, and also encounter the Daleks! It’s an exciting, pacy story that, by dint of having two separate plotlines, never outstays its welcome.
This story is unique in that it is both a prequel (to Dalek Universe) and a sequel (to the aforementioned Jon Pertwee story), and it serves both roles very well. Briggs ensures that a clear and concise explanation of the events of Death to the Daleks is included in the script so that those who haven’t seen it (myself included!) can get a handle on Doctor’s previous adventure on Exxilon, while also making sure that the story doesn’t seem like a fannish retread of an old episode done just for the sake of it. At the same time as it looks into the past, the script also looks into the future, brilliantly setting up the intriguing relationship between Mark and Anya, who will be joining the Tenth Doctor in the Dalek Universe series, the first volume of which is also released this month.
The main cast are joined by Jez Fielder as bloodthirsty Exxilon leader Gislen and Anna Mitcham as Ellasi Craig, Anya’s loyal assistant. Both do a great job in their roles, perfectly complementing the four main actors of the piece. Meanwhile, Nicholas Briggs reprises his role as the villainous Daleks, while also lending his voice to the characters of the Exxilon elder Bellal (a minor returning character from Death to the Daleks who’ll be more than familiar to fans of the Big Finish Podcast) and the officious SSS officer Barnard, adroitly juggling the three roles.
All in all, The Dalek Protocol isn’t a release that will set the world on fire, but as a sequel, prequel and good old fashioned Doctor Who adventure, it certainly succeeds. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are on top form, bolstered by a strong guest cast (led by the wonderful Jane Slavin and Joe Sims) and Jamie Robertson‘s evocative sound design and music. Recommended.
The Dalek Protocol is available now on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com