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< 4.4. The Wreck of the World
5.2 - An ideal World >

5.1 - The Dalek Occupation of Winter

Rating Votes
10
42%
11
9
35%
9
8
8%
2
7
12%
3
6
4%
1
5
0%
0
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
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1
0%
0
Average Rating
9.0
Votes
26
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: JacobzReview Date: 3/22/19 12:17 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Love it! Great acting all around, excellent writing.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
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7
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Reviewed By: KamelionReview Date: 3/17/19 11:32 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Location : City of Winter - The only known city on unknown planet
Time / Date : Unknown

Until the summer of 2014 Big Finish subscribers used to be able to enjoy a new monthly release with an early Doctor from mostly the 1-3 eras with an occasional 4th Doctor thrown in with what they used to call the Companion Chronicles. Then they skipped a year, released a final one in summer of 2015 then went to the box set format of just a few per year. Yet shortly after this new series format The Early Adventures began. From what I have taken in of this new format, the stories still seem to remain more focused on the companions where the major difference is the voice drama of the Doctor himself, back. This is a massive improvement to my liking of these older adventures and they have a surprisingly well done recreation of the era.

Occupation has a few pesky flaws which I will point out first then get on to some praise. One thing that stands out as a plot problem to me is that when the Doctor & Vicki met the Dalek Ambassador for the first time it clearly demanded (extremely loudly) that they identify themselves. They simply ignored this demand and it is a little hard to believe that the Dalek would just give up in regards to something so important at the time. Secondly there is a sound production error when when Stephen is speaking with Amala Vost on the street it sounds as if she is in a tunnel with a large level of echo. It is difficult to believe that Big Finish didn't "finish" this story by having a sound editor check it over first to eliminate something so obviously distracting.

While the Daleks do occupy this planet the author David K Barnes fails to properly explain what planet they are on and not even when in time this is. To me this is not responsible in a tale of time travel. For the Doctor to just pawn this off on the TARDIS with "She doesn't know where we are" is just lame. What we will learn of the occupation, this is also the only public employment on this planet, making Daleks. From the cases to the secret lab where the internal portions of the beasts are then installed for activation. The residents of the city believe that they are simply robots.

Going back to the beginning of this story the events that start to reveal the problems here are when the Doctor and Vicki find large amounts of fresh fruits, peaches and pomegranates specifically in abundance on a planet that has a 500 year old winter. These arrive at the trade hub according to one fruit vendor. The city is in the middle of a graduation celebration where young men and women coming of age are being sent away for the rest of their lives to work in what is described as an elite honor. What can not be explained by their relatives however is why they can never return home.


I found this to be a very enjoyable story and I do agree with other reviewers whom have called this possibly the best of the Early Adventures. Yet I can not overlook the plot hole or error, the sound production error nor the error of the author to name the planet and date and point in time. Had those issues been fixed before this was released I would have gave it a solid 9 but authors in particular need to be held to an acceptable level of responsibility when being entrusted to tell a tale of time travel to actually tell the time and location. To me that's a no-brainer and failure to do so does not really have any excuse.
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Reviewed By: YorickReview Date: 3/16/19 11:04 pm
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Good solid story with something for the main three characters. For me, Robert Daws stole the show.
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User Rating:
10
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9
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 12/21/18 4:29 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Another recent release in the Early Adventures line, this story sees the First Doctor, Vicki, and Steven arrive in a city in a state of perpetual winter but yet still grow immense amounts of food and produce. It all seems to be tied back to a scientific institute that takes young minds into its fold who are never seen again as well as some surprise residents living in harmony with the people and helping them wherever they can. The Daleks have seemingly integrated themselves into the city of Winter but for what purpose? It's no surprise that there is something else going on behind the scenes and that the Daleks are up to no good. But it's in how the standard beats related to the premise are implemented that this story really shines. There are some good twists here and there to be sure but 'Occupation' revels in being a serious Dalek story for the Hartnell era through and through with plenty of things to say in the background regarding the darker sides of human nature such as fascism and how people can be exploited for nefarious atrocities. It makes the Daleks not only a tangible threat but a negative force that affects everything around them in a way that we haven't seen from them in a long while. Combine this darker plot with a fantastic atmosphere and tone that builds on an interesting society and the usual great performances from Maureen O'Brien and Peter Purves and it makes this audio incredibly strong. It's a great surprise considering what it could've easily been given past First Doctor Dalek stories that struggle with seriousness and tone which 'Occupation' thankfully avoids to the best of its abilities. It's a strong piece by new David K. Barnes who we're going to very much need to keep an eye on and a fantastic Dalek story for your seasonal listening.