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< 2.5 - Phantoms of the Deep
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2.6 - The Dalek Contract

Rating Votes
10
7%
5
9
1%
1
8
24%
17
7
41%
29
6
16%
11
5
7%
5
4
3%
2
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Average Rating
7.1
Votes
70

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 11/18/15 12:28 pm
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Dalek Contract hurtles us towards the second season finale of the Fourth Doctor Adventures with surprising alacrity. While it isn't the most original of stories, I found it a really enjoyable listen that certainly killed an hour perfectly well. I will say that this story, more so than any of the other two part stories, before or since, in this range, this really does need the listener to be imminently entering possession of the next part for it to fully make sense. Unlike the previous stories, which were, at times, very self contained, this feels much more like a full-on four part story. And while that isn't a bad thing, in and of itself, it does make it feel a little weird as to why these stories are being packaged separately. However, while this half of the story does come across as little more than set up for the next half of the story, it still feels engaging and enjoyable. The idea of the Daleks forced to act under the orders of Cuthbert brings out the side of them that we only really see in stories like Power Of The Daleks and Victory Of The Daleks, that cunning and manipulative side. This really helps to build up a lot of tension as you want to wonder when the Daleks' full plan is going to emerge. The lines that they are given to say are certainly creepy enough to give the audience a few chills, particularly some of their sly lines that hint at their true power. I also really loved hearing Mary Tamm's Romana interacting with the Daleks, simply because I felt that Briggs wrote the scene better than Nation ever did. Briggs made Romana sassy and confident, but we could see that vulnerability beneath. One thing that did grate on me a little was the continual talk of the 'experiment' that Cuthbert was conducting, but we never actually got to see it. It was still kept in the shadows, which was nice for the previous two audios, but I feel that, by now, we should be starting to get some solid hints about it, but instead all we got was vague hints about the danger that was threatened. It's a shame, and probably the only major fault I have with this story. Sure, I didn't think that it's ideas were terribly novel, but it was a story that was engaging and I really liked that. The characters weren't terribly interesting, which was a real shame because there could have been more of an effort made to give them some added dimension. However, the basis was solid and Briggs may play around with them more in the second part. I did think that Toby Hadoke's Mr Dorrick did, however, get much more to do than in Sands Of Life/War Against The Laan, so that pleased me. Both Hadoke and David Warner were fantastic, really playing off each other wonderfully. I did think that some of the mystery of David Warner's character from the previous two parter was lost, and he was perhaps played a little too much for comedy. I did think the rest of the cast were really good, particularly John Leeson in a double role. To say Nick Briggs is good as the Daleks is an understatement. I don't think he could ever phone in the Daleks, despite the amount of times he's called to do the voice. And finally, Tom Baker and Mary Tamm are brilliant together in what is their final story together. They are wonderful, with Tom Baker in particular giving a great performance. Tamm is also amazing, especially knowing this was recorded a few months before her death. She is fantastic, and it's nice that she finally got the chance to meet the Daleks, even if it was her final story, and it's clear she's loving it. Alistair Lock's music and sound design was also really good, and reminds me a lot of the score for Genesis Of The Daleks. I loved the opening beats, it just sunk me straight into the story. Overall, The Dalek Contract is a very good story that gives plenty, despite the fact it doesn't really contain anything new or original. A good listen, and one that makes me look forward to the conclusion of this 70's-style epic.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/15/15 12:27 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'The Dalek Contract', is the first in a two part, Nick Briggs written, finale for the second series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures. The First series was undeniably shaky but this second series has been on much firmer ground with on the previous Cuthbert two-parter really disappointing, and of course Cuthbert makes his return here with the Daleks at his side. We are not made aware of the Daleks motivations for teaming up the inter-galactic version of Alan Sugar in this segment.

Firstly, I should say that this plot is as traditional as the music that forms the back drop for proceedings. Doctor and Romana get captured by the local inhabitants. The Doctor and Romana agree to join forces with the locals to defeat their oppressors. The group is split by half being captured. The captors issue an ultimatum if the Doctor doesn't agree to come to them. The Doctor goes to the rescue. Also, something about Cuthbert wanting to knock a planet out of orbit. I mean everyone needs a hobby, right?

The release is well paced, with a clear narrative and some thrilling action. It sets up the part very nicely, but for a finale it does lack a sense of occasion. By that, I mean it doesn't feel epic or noteworthy in anyway. There are some nice touches, like Cuthbert revealing that the President had launched a smear campaign against him after the Laan fiasco, and despite being very trite it is very entertaining, but definitely plays it safe in terms of storytelling. For example, once Romana and K-9 have been captured the Daleks torture their prisoners, as you might expect, but their idea of torture is to strap Romana to a lie detector which beeps or buzzes depending on whether she is telling the truth. While they physically torture K-9. Now, I know that the Daleks getting rough with Romana would go completely against the tone but the idea that the Daleks would spare Romana the physical discomfort seems at odds with the situation. Then again we saw the Doctor put through discomfort by his adversaries in the TV series, so why are the Daleks so gentlemanly here?

When I saw this was written by Nick Briggs I felt rather disheartened, but to be honest this is a lot better than I was expecting. I can't say there is anything drastically wrong with it, and it was certainly entertaining enough.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 11/11/15 6:23 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Now I really didn't like The Sands of Life and War Against the Laan as I thought they didn't do much new in the way of story and themes along with a really bad pace. So when I found out that the finale of Season 2 was a sequel to that story, I was less than thrilled. I immediately lowered my expectations and prepared for the worst.

Luckily I was wrong, as The Dalek Contract proves to be at least an interesting first half. The Daleks are great here, doing what they did in The Power of the Daleks except as a security force, which they easily could have become if something changed in their development. Cuthbert is great here again played by David Warner especially since now he has an assistant in Mr. Dorrick who is Mr. Fibuli to Cuthbert's pirate captain.

The plot is actually where I have problems as nothing really gets done except a whole lot of exposition about some deadly particles and a resistance party. I just hope that The Final Phase can bring up the quality to give a satisfying conclusion to the story and season.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/17/15 5:51 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Doctor returns to the inciting incident of the series previous Two CD story, "The Sands of Life/The War on the Laan" as he and Romana investigate the Proxima System. There he fines the evil corporate overlord Cuthbert and the Conglomerate at work on a plan that's put Proxima Prime out of orbit and led to civil breakdown. The Conglomerate has hired their own help to keep the peace---the Daleks.

The story has a clever plot. The interactions between the Doctor and the rebel leader were priceless. I liked the idea of the Doctor coming to this as the man who knows how to defeat the Daleks sharing his knowledge. David Warner is even better and more confident the second time around in his roll of Cuthbert and I simply loved his explanation for why the Daleks couldn't just exterminate. (Apparently he has to watch his poll numbers.) Overall, this is a very nice start to the season finale.
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