Alright! So, I recently managed to get my hands on every Big Finish audio drama in the Eighth Doctor Adventures range, and I figured… if I have them all, and I write for a news/review site, why not review them? So here I am, doing just that! What’s the first to be reviewed? Why, it’s “Blood of the Daleks”! A two-part episode that introduces The Eighth Doctor’s new companion Lucie Miller and shows what happens when a mad scientist gets ahold of Dalek technology…
In these reviews, I’ll do a synopsis of the episode (which will most likely be spoiler-heavy, so tread carefully), and then I’ll give my general thoughts overall, and wrap up the review with a short preview of next episode. We ready? Good! Let’s get right to it.
“Blood of the Daleks” – Part One
The episode begins in the TARDIS, with The Doctor and, appearing seemingly out of nowhere, Lucie Miller. Confused as to why Lucie is in the TARDIS, the Doctor attempts to return Lucie to her own time in 2006, but finds himself unable to land due to a temporal shield. The TARDIS instead lands on a human colony world known as Red Rocket Rising. Red Rocket Rising is currently in ruins as the planet had been struck by an asteroid some time ago. The survivors of the disaster are the colony’s acting president Eileen Klint, the scientist Asha Gryvern, the paranoid conspiracy theorist Tom Cardwell, and a large number of humans that want to kill Klint in an act of rebellion.
Not long after The Doctor’s arrival, the planet receives a call from a Dalek fleet offering their assistance in the evacuation of the planet. Klint, believing the Daleks are really their saviors, accepts the offer. We then find out that Lucie was sent to The Doctor by the Time Lords (as sort of a witness protection program) because of something she had seen, but she can’t remember what.
Asha Gryven is revealed to actually be Professor Martez. Before dying, Martez transferred his consciousness into Asha’s body. Martez has been conducting experiments by combining dead and living humans with parts salvaged from a Dalek ship that had crashed on the planet. He had managed to create a new race of Daleks.
When the actual Daleks land, they allow the humans on their ship, and then demand Klint give them The Doctor. Meanwhile, in Martez’s lab, The Doctor has discovered the secret and Martez orders his Daleks to open fire on The Doctor…
“Blood of the Daleks” – Part Two
The Doctor tricks Martez’s Daleks and escapes. Martez has summoned the Daleks for assistance with his own Dalek creations, but the true Daleks see Martez’s Daleks as a threat to the purity of the Dalek race, and plan to destroy them. The Doctor allies himself temporarily with the true Daleks in order to destroy Martez’s Daleks, but then works with Tom Cardwell to eliminate both Dalek groups. The Daleks reveal that they caused the asteroid strike on Red Rocket Rising, in a failed attempt to eliminate Martez’s creations; they also destroyed the exodus ships carrying refugees from the disaster. Martez’s Daleks, which are being birthed at a rapid rate, initially have an advantage over the true Daleks, who are weakened from another conflict. The Doctor eventually convinces Martez that a Dalek-dominated world will know only hatred, war, and death. Martez, whose stolen body is breaking down, halts the birthing process; in return, his creations kill him. Eventually, the two groups of Daleks (aided by Cardwell’s resistance) destroy each other. The humans are left to pick up the pieces, and Klint announces that a new offer of rescue has been received from the inhabitants of a planet whose name begins “Tel-“.
Lucie considers staying with the survivors on Red Rocket Rising, but the Doctor discovers that the Time Lords will not let him leave the planet without her. And elsewhere, a woman calling herself the Headhunter accepts a commission from one Mr. Hulbert, promising him that she will find Lucie Miller anywhere in space and time…
“Blood of the Daleks” – Overall Thoughts
Overall, “Blood of the Daleks” was a fun listen, and you never had a problem trying to figure out what was happening or had trouble picturing the scene. Big Finish did a great job of making sure that this was top quality.
Paul McGann is amazing as The Doctor, and it leaves me wishing he had a run on the TV show. I think he would have made a fantastic TV Doctor. Sheridan Smith plays a fantastic Lucie, making her every bit the hot-headed companion that’s easy to love.
The episode itself puts forth an interesting notion… during the course of the episode, Klint confronts The Doctor about his intent to destroy this new race of Daleks. She says that what he’s doing is genocide, and that would make him no worse than them. The Doctor eventually persuades her that what he’s doing is “the right thing”, but it leaves you to wonder… is what the Doctor’s doing really any better than the Daleks? Sure, he’s stopping a race of killers, but what gives him the right to decide who lives and who dies? He’s merely a child of the universe like the rest of us.
Anyway, the episode was great. It sounded great, it felt great, and it was most definitely a Doctor Who production. I’ll go ahead and rate “Blood of the Daleks” with an 8 out of 10.
Next time: The Doctor and Lucie go glam when the TARDIS makes an unexpected landing in 1974. Slade, the Sweet and Suzi Quatro are Top of the Pops — and brother-and-sister duo the Tomorrow Twins will soon be joining them if Arnold Korns, a starmaking Svengali, has his way. But will their dreams turn to dust at a service station somewhere on the M62, besieged by a pack of alien monsters? (synopsis from the TARDIS Data Core)