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< 14. The Holy Terror
16. Storm Warning >

15. The Mutant Phase

Rating Votes
10
8%
11
9
8%
12
8
18%
26
7
33%
48
6
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31
5
6%
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Average Rating
7.0
Votes
145
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User Rating:
7
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Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 8/28/17 8:45 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Just like The Apocalypse Element, The Mutant Phase is a grand epic Dalek tale. Unlike The Apocalypse Element, this is perhaps a little less cluttered, and a little more focused on it's central idea. However, it's by no means perfect, and, in actual fact, the end of the piece feels even more anti-climatic, but it's still a pretty decent story.

The basic plot involves the Daleks scared and afraid of a rapidly accelerated mutation in Dalek cells they term 'the Mutant Phase'. Now, this is a great idea: to have the Daleks actually fearful of something makes then more dangerous, because, for them, the gloves are very much off. And, while they highlight this fear, I felt like the story could play on it a bit more. In the end, writer Nicholas Briggs decides to plump for exploring the mysteries of time, which, while interesting, he doesn't quite convey with enough poetry or conviction to make it interesting. Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton do their best, but some of the dialogue feels too nebulous and vague to have any impact.

Overall, The Mutant Phase has some really good ideas, and some really strong moments. However, it just misses out on being some of the best early Big Finish due to some unfocused ideas and some lacklustre dialogue. Still, it's probably the best Dalek story up till this point.
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User Rating:
6
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6
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 4/19/17 1:04 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Bloated, rambling, and hopelessly overwrought. Like The Apocalypse Element, this story takes advantage of the audio format's potential to do large-scale stories. The threat of the story is a planet-sized swarm of wasp-like creatures flying through space and devouring planets. Presenting such a daunting, implacable enemy is a great way to open a story, but Briggs's script fails to capitalize on it. The story gets lost in a tortured, convoluted plot built around another annoying time paradox and resolved, again, by the whole story un-happening. At this point in Big Finish's output, Nicholas Briggs has contributed two stories, neither of which actually happened, and neither one worth the time it takes to listen to.

The idea of the Doctor teaming up with the Daleks to defeat something even more dangerous is a strong one, and Big Finish will explore it again down the road in much stronger stories than this one.
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User Rating:
9
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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/9/17 12:01 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Mutant Phase was one of the best free gifts given away with Doctor Who Adventures (the children's Doctor Who magazine) back when I was a child. Of course, it was also released separately from the magazine through Big Finish as a slightly longer version (the DWA take is cut down) but it was a nice change from the free notebooks and pens.

The Mutant Phase sees the Doctor (Peter Davison) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) find themselves trapped in a time corridor where they find out the Daleks are mutating into something due to an infection and encounter some dangerous wasps who have been made more aggressive by a pesticide chemical.

One of the things I like about this audio drama is the decision by writer Nicholas Briggs to have the companion (in this case Nyssa) be infected by the wasp sting illness that has been the cause of death for many survivors of the 2157 Dalek Invasion of Earth. She actually becomes infected pretty early on, when she is stung by a wasp in the 42nd century. It's a great move by Nicholas Briggs as it raises the personal stakes for the Doctor and eliminates the problem of 'Oh, the Doctor and his companion will always be safe because it's not the main series'. I wish TV Doctor Who would put the Doctor and his companion into peril like this; whilst I love the main series, there are very rare examples where it feels as though the companion is in as much danger as the supporting cast.

It's also nice to see the Daleks infected by the Mutant Phase. It's great to hear these powerful, booming hate machines become weak and vulnerable towards what is basically a disease. In fact, you almost feel sorry for them - especially when it makes the Daleks basically mindless. We're too used to seeing the Daleks as being the powerful evil species they are so its nice for it to be stripped back to reveal what the Daleks would be like if they weren't in control.

It's amazing how Nicholas Briggs manages to achieve different voices with the Daleks and the Dalek Emperor too. The Dalek Emperor sounds has a much more booming and God-like voice compared to the more robotic metallic Dalek voices. It's the same with the new series too; you never feel like you're just watching or listening to another Dalek with the Dalek Emperor but he has his own distinguishable voice despite being voiced by the same person.

The great thing with these audio dramas is that the main cast never sound like the actual age they are now. It's like listening to a lost classic series serial. Peter Davison sounds perfect as his Doctor despite now being in his 50s when this was recorded and Sarah Sutton doesn't sound any older either (this was recorded in the early 2000s) even though two decades had passed since she was in the show with Peter Davison. You would never convince the audience on TV that they are in their 30s and 20s but on audio on the other hand it's harder to believe they were in their 50s and 40s here.

Overall, The Mutant Phase is a magnificent Doctor Who audio drama and one that any Whovian should listen to whether they have listened to Big Finish before or not. It features incredible performances from Nicholas Briggs, Sarah Sutton and Peter Davison, the latter which convince you they are much younger than their ages at the time of recording. I do wonder how it went down at the time with other kids who bought Doctor Who Adventures though. Did they dismiss it because it was audio or did they give it a go and find they actually enjoyed it? I'm really not sure.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Acting Rating:
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Replay Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/30/16 6:06 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A very strong Dalek story that finds the Daleks trapping the Doctor's TARDIS in a time corridor because they need the Doctor.

The story works because the mystery behind the Daleks' mechinations and motives is very well-crafted. The characterization of Nyssa and the Fifth Doctor is also tweaked a bit in this story and I think it works quite well, and the result is Nyssa being more assertive but not at the Tegan-like level she was in her previous story. A very solid early Big Finish release.