Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 2/20/19 11:00 pm
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'Lights of Skaro' ends Series 1 of the New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield on an incredibly strong note with Benny, Ace, and the cast from the previous story trapped on the homeworld of the Daleks. But not all is as it seems and dark secrets are about to come out regarding why the situation is happening that will affect everyone involved, not least of all Bernice herself. More than one member of the TARDIS team is about to be put in the doghouse and this time it may not necessarily be the Doctor.
While the plot of the audio is a little bit bare bones barely amounting to a few conversations and back and forth chases, what Nev Fountain's script has to say about the titular menace themselves in the days of their creation is fascinating and some of the best we've ever gotten from a Dalek story. It also doesn't let anyone off the hook necessarily especially in how things came about past and present especially when combined with a dark and suspenseful atmosphere that even succeeds in making the planet of Skaro mysterious again. There's so much to unpack about it that I would love to discuss further but really it's best for the listener to just be surprised, revel in the soundscape, and simply let the drama play out.
The cast is mostly good with Bowerman again pulling off a stellar performance on the whole. While the Seventh Doctor and Ace barely appear in the story, their actions and presence are still very much felt and both McCoy and Aldred do well with what they are given. There are a few minor problems outside of the plot in that the biggest surprise of the story is a major tease and nothing more, some of the side cast are still relatively underutilized, and the final moments where Bernice rejoins the TARDIS team feel a bit underdeveloped and almost unearned. It also doesn't quite justify the set's extensive length combined with the rest of the set and this could've easily been an amazing two-parter all by itself. As a story though, 'Lights of Skaro' is definitely a great one if a tad imperfect in it's storytelling and cast and a decent way to cap off a good set for Bernice and the Seventh Doctor team.