The Doctor and Constance arrive on the planet Strellin: a Grade Three world with no knowledge of technology or other civilisations. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. A strange signal is emanating from the monastery occupied by the Brotherhood of the Black Petal, and old enemies are lurking in the shadows. The Daleks have come to Strellin, and, though crippled and weaponless, they’re more dangerous than ever.
Order of the Daleks is a story quite literally teeming with brilliant new ideas, taking the Daleks and throwing them into a completely different kind of story. There’s a real effort here to make the Daleks feel new and scary again, and Mike Tucker absolutely succeeds with that. Not only this, but every character is well-written and gets their own storyline, no matter how small, meaning that every aspect of the script gets paid off.
Colin Baker and Miranda Raison are excellent as the Doctor and Constance, who are split up for much of the story and given their own companions. The slightly combative relationship between the Doctor and John Savident‘s Assessor Pendle is a delight to listen to, while Constance’s encouragement and empowerment of Olivia Hallinan‘s Asta is a great storyline for both characters.
Nicholas Briggs returns as the Daleks, and turns their guile and cunning up to eleven with this script, while also giving a suitably unsettling performance as the Dalek-controlled Abbot Tanapal. Meanwhile, Robbie Stevens impresses as the avuncular Boswyck, a monk who has managed to escape Dalek control.
Sound design is handles by Rob Harvey, who does an excellent job. Highlights include casing-less Daleks writhing around in intestines, and the climactic fire at the monastery. The cover art from Simon Holub is stunning: that stained-glass Dalek is such a beautiful design, and it’s a major shame this is an audio script, because it would look amazing on screen.
Overall, Order of the Daleks is a simple, tightly-plotted story packed with memorable characters and some truly novel ideas. It’s a shame Mike Tucker hasn’t written any more Doctor Who since, as this is a great story.
Order of the Daleks is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com