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< 4.4 - United
5.2 - Invocation >

5.1 - The Dalek Transaction

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10
7%
1
9
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8
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3
7
14%
2
6
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7%
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4
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Average Rating
6.5
Votes
14
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/10/17 10:23 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The UNIT team goes undercover in South America to purchase an alien from a crashed spaceship, a Dalek to be precise. This is a solid UNIT tale and a very good Dalek story showing that a wounded Dalek is still a dangerous Dalek. Overall, the story moves at a solid pace, and has some solid guest characters, and strong performances from all the regulars.

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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 12/4/17 8:04 pm
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In the deep Central American jungles, a guerrilla faction of warriors and fighters have come across a mysterious alien artifact and are selling it to the highest bidder. Kate, Osgood, Colonel Shindi, and UNIT head undercover to investigate and hopefully purchase said item from the guerrilla leader but the faction has no idea how threatening their prize actually is. Alone, damaged, and caged like an animal.....that's when a Dalek is at its most deadly. This is the first story we've had in a long while that brings UNIT and the Daleks together and the first true one without the Doctor's involvement. It does invite comparison and use elements from other stories though in particular 2005's 'Dalek' with Christopher Eccleston (which is actually referenced in the story more than once) and "The Eighth Doctor: The Time War" Series 1 of all places in particular the story "Echoes of War". Combine those two stories together replacing the Doctor with UNIT and that's more or less what you get here plot-wise and in trying to incorporate both stories and styles, it doesn't go quite as deep or feel quite as strong as either of them. However, 'Transaction' still works well enough as a decent UNIT story. It definitely has its strong character moments in terms of cast and interactions with the Dalek itself which are by far its saving grace. Kate Stewart and Colonel Shindi remain the badass and strong soldiers interrogating as needed and desperately doing what they need to do in order to survive while the guerrilla leader played by Karina Fernandez serves as a decent enough foil even there's no real threat there. Nicholas Briggs continues to be good as the Dalek and seems to be having more fun than normal in playing the more manipulative side of the creature in achieving its goals. There's also a new and interesting twist in that this Dalek seems to be mutating and adapting to its environment to the point where it doesn't even necessarily need its armor to kill which I find truly creepy. Surprisingly enough however, it's the character of Osgood who provides the true heart of this one taking on a Rose like role in places and genuinely wanting to help the Dalek despite it's nature as an evil killing machine. The plot moves along at a steady pace with plenty of moments of action and drama to keep you as a listener going with the soundscape and you never feel bored as it progresses through but it does have some big problems. In trying to be and act like past stories in the universe with an added UNIT touch, it doesn't feel like much is really happening for at least the first half in terms of development and some of the lifted elements don't quite gel together making it feel like it's stretching itself too thin. It really does feel like it's trying to copy too much from other better stories and most of what's here has been done and done better in TV and in audio form. By the time the ending comes around which feels rushed and very cookie cutter, you don't really feel like you listened to anything new per se (other than listening to our new UNIT team deal with a Dalek) and it feels very thin and forced as a whole. On a minor level, some of the accents and acting outside of the main cast also feel really obnoxious and fake especially in the Central American inhabitants that utterly fail to the point where they can be hard to understand at times. Overall, 'The Dalek Transaction' is a fine listen especially for this UNIT cast but compared to the quality that we've had in previous stories from this team, this isn't exactly a promising start.