Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 11/15/15 5:27 pm
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'The Dalek Contract', is the first in a two part, Nick Briggs written, finale for the second series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures. The First series was undeniably shaky but this second series has been on much firmer ground with on the previous Cuthbert two-parter really disappointing, and of course Cuthbert makes his return here with the Daleks at his side. We are not made aware of the Daleks motivations for teaming up the inter-galactic version of Alan Sugar in this segment.
Firstly, I should say that this plot is as traditional as the music that forms the back drop for proceedings. Doctor and Romana get captured by the local inhabitants. The Doctor and Romana agree to join forces with the locals to defeat their oppressors. The group is split by half being captured. The captors issue an ultimatum if the Doctor doesn't agree to come to them. The Doctor goes to the rescue. Also, something about Cuthbert wanting to knock a planet out of orbit. I mean everyone needs a hobby, right?
The release is well paced, with a clear narrative and some thrilling action. It sets up the part very nicely, but for a finale it does lack a sense of occasion. By that, I mean it doesn't feel epic or noteworthy in anyway. There are some nice touches, like Cuthbert revealing that the President had launched a smear campaign against him after the Laan fiasco, and despite being very trite it is very entertaining, but definitely plays it safe in terms of storytelling. For example, once Romana and K-9 have been captured the Daleks torture their prisoners, as you might expect, but their idea of torture is to strap Romana to a lie detector which beeps or buzzes depending on whether she is telling the truth. While they physically torture K-9. Now, I know that the Daleks getting rough with Romana would go completely against the tone but the idea that the Daleks would spare Romana the physical discomfort seems at odds with the situation. Then again we saw the Doctor put through discomfort by his adversaries in the TV series, so why are the Daleks so gentlemanly here?
When I saw this was written by Nick Briggs I felt rather disheartened, but to be honest this is a lot better than I was expecting. I can't say there is anything drastically wrong with it, and it was certainly entertaining enough.