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< 10. Winter for the Adept
12. The Fires of Vulcan >

11. The Apocalypse Element

Rating Votes
10
6%
9
9
8%
13
8
25%
40
7
24%
38
6
24%
39
5
8%
13
4
5%
8
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
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Average Rating
7.0
Votes
161
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 8/20/17 7:08 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

The Apocalypse Element has a decidedly mixed reputation in the fandom. And, listening to it in preparation for this, I can understand why. Certainly, there's a lot going on. And that might be the problem: Steve Cole's script has so much going on, so much incident that it's hard to focus upon any one thing at once. The whole thing ends up feeling decidedly muddled as a result.

The main thrust of the story involves the Daleks harnessing some supposedly volatile element in order to hold the universe to ransom. Now, while I like the idea of the Daleks holding the universe to ransom, this plan feels illogical and ill-thought out. The Daleks discover they can't control the element - surely they did tests? And even if they wanted to let it run out of control the way they did, their plan hinges on the Time Lords even letting them onto Gallifrey, which may not have happened in the first place. And all of this - to build a power base? The whole thing feels flimsy at best, and barely connected to The Genocide Machine, as the story's promotion seems to suggest. Other than that, it's a Time War story before the fact - and featuring Colin Baker as opposed to Paul McGann or John Hurt. Colin puts in a wonderfully impassioned performance. You really feel like everything's at stake, and that's thanks to him. He's equally matched by Lalla Ward, who's broken, damaged Romana is actually quite interesting. It's just a shame there's so much else going on for us to care.

While The Apocalypse Element's heart(s) are definitely in the right place, the whole thing crumbles under the weight of the events it's trying to tell, and some of the plot logic is erratic at best. That said, it's still a decent story that sets up some tension for the Time War, and features one of Colin's best ever performances. It's worth it if only for that.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/26/17 8:43 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

If the Fourth Doctor story 'Genesis of the Daleks' is considered to be the start of the Time War, this Sixth Doctor Dalek story could be considered to be one of its earliest if not the earliest battle. When a peace treaty on the planet of Archetryx goes awry, the Sixth Doctor and audio-only companion Evelyn become embroiled in a mystery involving something secret in the vast mines of the planet, an ancient element unseen for hundreds of years, and the Time Lords / Gallifrey itself. While the plot may be a little bit over the top with too many links to make it easy for new fans to get in to, it's worth to get an amazing war time Dalek story with not only Six but also the return of Romana II played once again flawlessly by Lalla Ward. It's dramatic, exciting, and powerful in the vein of a good space opera with everything turned up to 11 especially by the end and was unknowingly the first real taste of the Time War that we got before the Time War even existed. Thus, it remains a strong favorite of mine especially with the Sixth Doctor.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 4/9/17 3:08 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

While I appreciate what Stephen Cole was trying to do here, I feel that The Apocalypse Element can most charitably be described as an ambitious failure. There's certainly nothing wrong with trying to take advantage of the audio medium to tell a story with a scope and scale far larger than anything that could have been accomplished on television. However, size isn't everything. It started off well enough in Part One, but the pace and intensity ramp up very quickly. Then we're in non-stop crisis-mode for the remaining three episodes, and it's exhausting to the point of becoming tedious. The story has some really good ideas at the heart of it, but they tend to get lost in the muddle. So do the characters, for that matter.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/28/16 8:36 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Apocalypse Element represented Big Finish’s most ambitious production at the time as we’re given a massive tale of a Dalek plan to invade Gallifrey and take over the Universe.

This time of thing has been tried since, but the Apocalypse Element works exceptionally well because it manages to really create the feeling of a true space epic where the galaxies burn and the Universe itself is at stake. Lalla Ward’s return as Romana makes this story a standout, particularly her brilliant monologue in Episode 2.

While there are some slow moments in the first part and the soundscape could probably stand being remastered, this is a very well done space epic, and listened to in light of the new series, this story can also be seen as a prelude to the Time War.

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