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< 6. The Marian Conspiracy
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7. The Genocide Machine

Rating Votes
10
2%
4
9
5%
8
8
35%
58
7
26%
43
6
22%
37
5
7%
11
4
4%
7
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.0
Votes
168
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User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
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7
Replay Rating:
4
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7
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Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 8/13/17 7:00 pm
2 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Big Finish's first Dalek adventure is a solidly enjoyable story that, despite not doing anything massively original or unique, manages to be mildly entertaining. Certainly, it's a total contrast to the Seventh Doctor's previous Dalek story, Remembrance Of The Daleks.

The plot feels like a tick-box of various elements that Terry Nation used ad-nauseum in his scripts. This element of the plot can be a little wearing, as it means that very little original is used in this story. However, this is turned on it's head by a revelation in the final episode that produces some wonderful conflict. The characters are rather thinly sketched, but rather enjoyable and quirky all the same. The Daleks are, at least, treated seriously in this story, although they do have a tendency to come across as a little incompetent.

Sure, it's not a Big Finish classic, nor even essential listening, as there's plenty of better Dalek tales out there from Big Finish. However, it's a decent, by-the-numbers Dalek story, with an interesting twist in the final episode. It's a shame it couldn't have been more ambitious, but what we have isn't bad in it's own right.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
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5
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5
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 3/21/17 12:11 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

After getting off to a reasonably good start, the plot begins to fall apart in the last two episodes, ruining what could have been an entertaining but uninspiring story. Instead, we're left with a jumble of mishandled ideas, sloppy plotting, weak characters, and really poor dialogue. For the first two episodes, the Daleks are in top form, having pulled off an audacious plan that required centuries of patience. But starting in Part Three, they're suddenly under tremendous time pressure, apparently to justify the series of stupid decisions they make for the rest of the story. The Doctor actually accomplishes very little, as the Dalek plan is largely self-defeating for reasons never adequately explained.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: dtomReview Date: 2/5/17 12:52 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is a nearly story. It has plenty to recommend it but after two very strong episodes it fades away in the later half failing to deliver the knockout punch which would have made it a true classic.

This is also the first Big Finish audio to feature the Daleks. No Doctor Who project could last for long without including the hate filled pepper pot’s. They are as much a part of show as the Tardis. For the singular honour of the first Dalek story they turned to Mike Tucker. Mike’s association with Doctor Who may not be as long as the Daleks, but it is none the less impressive. Principally a visual effects wizard he has worked on both the classic and new series, indeed he was the first to make the crossover as a model works supervisor. In 2013 he won a BAFTA for his model effects in The Day of the Doctor, 50th anniversary special.

He has also penned many Doctor Who related fiction and non-fiction and joined the growing list of past adventure novelists to join the Big Finish stable, a role he continues to the present day. He was responsible for several 7th Doctor and Ace novels, and it seems an obvious choice to team them up for this audio.

The plot sees the Doctor and Ace travel to a hidden library who’s collection of knowledge rivals even the Gallifreyan matrix. Obviously such knowledge is bound to be a tempting prize for the evil and unscrupulous, and no one matches that description better than the Daleks.
Tucker’s plot follows a few classic TV Who beats, for example only properly introducing the Daleks at the climax of episode one. A tradition used often in classic Dr Who TV serials. By the end of the second episode we find out just how cunning, resourceful and patient the Daleks can be to achieve their objective, leaving them on the verge of triumph, their greatest rival slain and all the knowledge of the universe in their possession.

The final two episodes however, use a few cheap get out of jail free cards to foil their plans. These include a hitherto unknown race that live in the rain, an insane Dalek, and finally a Dalek exposed to the universe's knowledge who decides violence isn’t the answer. The Doctor is reduced to acting as a commentator and the whole things ends unsatisfactorily.

The supporting cast are generally fine without hitting the high notes. Nick Briggs provides the main Dalek voices as he would do for the new series and gets most pitch perfect. Bruce Montague is good as Elgin the librarian. One of the interesting touches was Cataloguer Prink. He is a silent character used largely as comic relief. This worked well initially but became over used as the story went on.

One of the less successful characters was Bev Tarrant. She is a poor man’s Bernice Summerfield, and is largely used as an expositional device. It’s not that she is played badly, just that for a stellar thief she is inept and dull.

Sophie Aldred puts in the best turn playing both Ace and her Dalek clone. But ultimately she is reduced to blowing stuff up as the plot runs out of steam.

The main issues centre around the Kar-Charratians. The local sentient life forms who live in the water supply. They have been trapped in the machine that contains the libraries knowledge. They can occupy dead bodies, interact with physical objects and manage to destroy the invading Daleks all but single-handedly. Which left you wondering why they didn’t just breakout of the wetwork tanks themselves.

The Genocide Machine isn’t a bad story but if the adventure had maintained the standard of the first two episodes we might have had a true must listen story. As one of £2.99 releases it’s certainly worth a download but it could have been so much more.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 5/28/16 8:18 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

You really can’t have Doctor Who without the Daleks. They were introduced in the second story of the TV series, appeared in every Doctor Who stage play, had their own two theatrical films, and have been just as popular, if not more so, than the show itself and ten months after beginning their Doctor Who audio dramas, Big Finish Productions had their first story to feature the Daleks, The Genocide Machine. This story has an interesting history as it is the beginning of a four story arc of loosely connected Dalek stories as a prelude to the spin-off Dalek Empire. Dalek Empire was Nicholas Briggs’ pet project at the time and led to four successful series wrapping up in 2008. And to write the first part in the prequel Briggs brought in visual effects advisor and Past Doctor Adventures novelist Mike Tucker to write the story. The story sadly doesn’t work very well in its own context or as a prequel as it went through a sort of development hell. What we eventually got was a remake of Planet of the Daleks with elements of Resurrection of the Daleks mixed in for good measure that would have very little setup for the Dalek Empire story arc.





I do have to congratulate Tucker for an honestly brilliant script character wise. It may just because I was listening this as a remedy for Strange England (that review is coming), but I loved some of the comedy in the script. The Doctor is as manipulating as ever, but when he realizes he has some overdue library books he freaks out and frantically tries to explain to Ace why the library is so important. McCoy is great at pulling off his Doctor and has a balance between the drama and the comedy inherently in the script. This is where Tucker really succeeds and where I feel his writing partner, Robert Perry is definitely better with the plots of their work output while Tucker does the characters.





Sophie Aldred does a great turn here as Ace and the Dalek duplicate of Ace. She really steals the show with very little artificial modification of her voice. She’s clearly having a ball here. Louise Faulkner plays the recurring character Bev Tarrent who I’ve never really warmed to as a character. Bev is basically trying to be Bernice Summerfield and it really shows here as Tucker obviously wanted to include Benny. I know Bev is her own character and she gets better in her other appearance and the ones in the Bernice Summerfield solo series, but here she’s a complete rip-off of Benny. Faulkner is still a good actress and is clearly still giving it her all and trying not to be Lisa Bowerman. The rest of the supporting cast fares a lot better with a rather Robert Holmesian duo with Bruce Montague’s Elgin who is very similar to Henry Gordon Jago and the silent Prink played by Nicholas Briggs, who eventually gets some of the best lines in the play. The Daleks however are really off as the modulation for Alistair Lock is really quite off while Nicholas Briggs has it going strong from the outset. The way the Daleks are defeated is pretty creative and most of the twists are what keeps the story going.