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< 2.6 - The Dalek Contract
3.1 - The King of Sontar >

2.7 - The Final Phase

Rating Votes
10
8%
5
9
5%
3
8
21%
13
7
32%
20
6
18%
11
5
8%
5
4
5%
3
3
0%
0
2
2%
1
1
2%
1
Average Rating
6.9
Votes
62

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 11/19/15 11:40 am
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

After a huge amount of build up in The Dalek Contract, the onus was definitely on The Final Phase to tie all of that up satisfactorily. And while I was satisfied with the story that we got, I was, frankly, hoping for a little more. Perhaps that's just expectations talking, but I had hoped that we would get a grand finale that would leave us desperately wanting more. However, it all just seemed very low-key, despite the fact that The Dalek Contract had seemed rather low-key. I had hoped that this part would have gone in all guns blazing, but it ended up not doing any of that. It was a shame, because some of what we did get was fantastic. The mysterious hints about Cuthbert's 'purpose' were really well shadowed, not forced like when the New Series decides to focus upon a character for it's arcs. It didn't feel like it was building him up too much, but the mystery was very interesting. I did think that the Daleks' plan was however hugely predictable, and that was a real shame, because it could have been something very different. However, it just felt hugely anti-climactic, because it all boiled down to the Daleks wanting to conquer everything. Even the Doctor wonders why the Daleks are doing this, which may be seen to be making a point about the Daleks, but it just comes across as feeling like Briggs was completely aware of this problem and just decided to plow on anyway. It just comes across as looking a little cheap. The characterisation seemed a little better here, however. While Cuthbert didn't seem as uber cool as in the previous two parter, I did feel like here, he wasn't just used for comedy, and was rather used for a different purpose. Mr Dorrick also, for the first time, managed to step out of Cuthbert's shadow, and both David Warner and Toby Hadoke gave very confident performances. I am really looking forward to their return at the end of the next season of Fourth Doctor Adventures now after this. The Proximan rebels also started to feel a little fleshed out here, despite the fact they didn't seem as important to the story as they did in Dalek Contract. The parts were well acted, and I feel the subtlety that was in the performance really helped to reflect that. Both Tom Baker and John Leeson were also fantastic, and Nicholas Briggs was once more superb as the Daleks. But this story really belongs to the late Mary Tamm. Her final performance as Romana is really understated, and I love how Briggs gives Romana plenty to do. The final scene between Tom, Mary and John is lovely, and everything you would expect. And she makes that cliffhanger. It isn't just a 'oh, how will he get out of that one?' but a 'my god, he's really dead?' one. And it's all thanks to Mary's brilliant performance. Alistair Lock's music and sound design once more feels evocative of the era, and Briggs' direction is taught and strong. All in all, The Final Phase may have a few issues (glaring ones in some cases), but overall, it's a fun story with some great foreshadowing and an amazing final performance from one of Who's best companion actors. Get it, if only for that.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/15/15 12:28 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'The Final Phase', and the previous instalment, are both better and opposite of the more dialogue driven, and flat out boring, two-parter that introduced the character of Cuthbert earlier on in this series. After a wonky first series this range has really found its feet in terms of quality and consistency. More action again here, as the Daleks strive for control of the dimensional portal that Cuthbert has created, so that they can conquer infinity.

Hang on though, wasn't the Daleks using gates ways to conquer infinity also their plan in 'Time of the Daleks'? Genuine question, as it was hard to tell, and didn't they also have a similar plan in the, Nick Briggs penned, Dalek Empire series? Disparate factions uniting to defeat a common enemy and leaving the Daleks fighting a two front war, also seems a familiar theme. Wasn't it Hitchcock who said, "To self-plagiarise is to have style"? Well, Nick Briggs certainly has plenty of, "Style"! The Doctor's line, "A Dalek threatening to kill everyone, now there's a surprise" could almost be meta-referential. Romana seems to spend the first half of this wandering around telling anybody who will listen that the Daleks will betray them. Who would have expected that, eh?

Fair warning, this is going to get a bit spoilery now. Cuthbert's fate is to disappear, presumably to resurface at a later date, after revealing that he is a living temporal paradox. It's a nice Ouroboros effect, but anticlimactic at the same time. Romana seems to spend the first half of this wandering around telling anybody who will listen that the Daleks will betray them.

The action is acoustically orchestrated superbly and really envelopes the listener. The story was very pedestrian really, unless you have been avoiding Big Finishes other Dalek titles and now I am really looking forward to the next series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 11/11/15 3:20 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Final Phase finishes the minimal plot set up in The Dalek Contract and is written by Nicholas Briggs. Briggs does something that Dalek story writers have been doing since the days of Terry Nation and making an homage to/ripping off another story. Instead of completely ripping off a Dalek story, Briggs decided to rip off a Master story. That story in question is the overly nostalgic, poorly paced The End of Time. Luckily here while the story doesn't have the best pacing, it goes by a lot more quickly. It does however reveal the problems with the plot but most of the acting makes up for a plainly average plot. The story does take the problems of ripping off other Dalek stories. Toby Hadoke especially impresses as Mr. Dorrick and David Warner's Cuthbert is great.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/17/15 5:48 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is a story that throughout seems to be a typical Doctor Who v. Daleks story with a few faults. David Warner's corporate CEO Cuthbert had become plain irrational and the episode decided to pretend the Doctor was dead for 10 minutes in order to get some reaction from Romana. However, the last 20 minutes make up quite nicely for the story's faults as the Doctor tries to make the Daleks see sense for once and some additional info about Cuthbert deepens the character and the Doctor's dilemma. Despite a few bumps, this is a great outing for Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, and David Warner.
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