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3. Curse of the Daleks

Synopsis
A special audio adaptation of the Doctor Who stage-play from the 1960s.

The space ship Starfinder is taking two dangerous criminals for trial on Earth. En route, they crash through a meteor storm and have to make an emergency landing on Skaro – the planet of the dreaded Daleks. But Captain Redway and his faithful crew don’t anticipate any trouble. After all, the Daleks were defeated fifty years ago and now they are completely inactive. But when a crate full of mysterious devices is discovered and the Daleks start to come back to life, it becomes clear that there is a traitor amongst the Starfinder’s crew… A traitor intent on reactivating the power of the Daleks!
Starring
Michael Praed (Ladiver), Patric Kearns (Captain Redway), Beth Chalmers (Marion Clements), Nick Wilton (Rocket Smith), James George (Bob Slater), John Line (Professor Vanderlyn), Derek Carlyle (Harry Sline), Glynn Sweet (Dexion), Denise Hoey (Ijayna), Nicholas Briggs (Narrator / Daleks)
Written By
Directed By
Nicholas Briggs

Ratings

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7
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Reviews

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7
Review By NewWorldreviews
Rated 7/10 on 4/16/14 10:32 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
The last of Big Finish's range of Stageplays is quite a unique specimen. The original production of Curse Of The Daleks has very little material existing, so the release of this audio was many Who fans first chance to experience this story. And one thing that many people have forgotten about it the similarities with Power Of The Daleks and Evil Of The Daleks. A lot of people will have forgotten that there was a lot of similarities between the two TV episodes and this stageplay. There are also a few tenuous links between this and the Dalek story being broadcast at the time, The Dalek's Master Plan. This story, however, is a really good, creepy adventure, with well written characters and and strong moments that stand out in the mind.

Now unlike certain things, this script (very much like the Lost Story Mission To Magnus) is very much a child of it's time. There are certain elements, which, if it were to be staged now, would have to be adapted. However, Big Finish are trying to recreate a historical document, so to remove these elements would be a mistake. But the thing that I find more intresting is the creeping menace that the Daleks present. I always dislike stories when the Daleks are simple footsoldiers. There intelligent beings, who scheme and plot and use there intelligence to further there aims. They don't just go around mercilessly killing and exterminating, but they use people to advance there plot and aims. Since this was written by TV writer David Whitaker, it's no wonder. He knows how to use the Daleks, and then the adaption was performed by modern Dalek master Nick Briggs. Therefore a lot of the Daleks mannerisms aren't removed. Of course, the Daleks aren't the be all and end all of the story. The characters are in actual fact very intresting too. Of course, there cliched, but they are allowed to breath and become intresting. They make the mystery of Act 1 more intresting and keep the momentum going in those early moments. Nick Briggs' narration also helps with keeping the visual events obvious in the audio medium, and adds some real menace to proceedings. Nick's music also really helps to add the menace and the tension.

The actors in this are also really strong. Michael Praed is fantastic as the lead, especially because you can never know what his real motives are. He keeps himself rather veiled and disguised, but there's still a warmth there that can be drawn out. James George is such a good villain, and while he does often play the villain, he is so good at it that you can just get caught up in it. He's quite intresting, especially considering the twist involving his character. He's the last character you'd expect to be involved with this mystery. It's refreshing to get genuinely suprised like that, in true Agatha Christie style. Certainly the rest of the cast are all good (John Line in paticular, who makes his character feel a lot like Hartnell's Doctor. At times, I can imagine him saying the lines) but it's Nick Briggs who once again steals the show, not just as the Daleks, but as the narrator of the piece. He really makes it sinister and terrifying, making you truly terrified that the Daleks will come to get you. It certainly plays into that old Dalekmania fear of the Daleks coming for you. This is wonderfully aided by Briggs' creepy rendition of the Doctor Who theme, which is even more terrifying than the scary cue used in The Five Doctors.

Curse will never win any awards, and it's certainly not a patch upon Dalek Empire, Briggs' masterpiece, but it's a lovely piece of ephemera from an bygon era. But just don't forget: the Daleks are waiting...
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
5
Review By Mr Flibble
Rated 5/10 on 10/17/10 4:25 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
No Doctor, just Daleks. This is a straight adaptation of an old sixties play by Terry Nation. It's alright but nothing special.

I did enjoy the theme tune which is a version of the Doctor Who theme but it sounds like it's been done by Clint Mansell.