A year after her brief encounter with the Doctor, Flip and her boyfriend Jared witness the crash of a Dalek ship in London. As police surround the wreckage, Flip and Jared find the Doctor among the debris, acting strangely disoriented. Naturally, the Daleks are close behind, along with humans under their control, looking for the Doctor. Flip is startled to witness the Doctor displaying a casual disregard for those around him, and is powerless and speechless when the Doctor surrenders himself to the Daleks. Aboard the Daleks’ mothership, the Doctor is brought before Davros, and only then does she learn that the Doctor’s mind is trapped in the body of the gnarled Kaled scientist, and vice versa. The Doctor performed this dangerous swap with Davros’ own technology to thwart a plan to change Earth’s history by turning the Battle of Waterloo in Napoleon’s favor… but now he’ll need Flip’s help to finish the job and return to his own body.
Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Lisa Greenwood (Flip Jackson), Terry Molloy (Davros), Ashley Kumar (Jared), Jonathan Owen (Napoleon Bonaparte), Rhys Jennings (Captain Pascal), Granville Saxton (Duke of Wellington), Robert Portal (Marshal Ney), Christian Patterson (Captain Dickson), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks)
Notes: The Daleks employ “mind exchange” technology here, and the portrayal of it by the cast is reminiscent of the Dalek-possessed humans seen in television episodes such as Asylum Of The Daleks and The Time Of The Doctor; additionally, the mind-swapped Jared is armed with Dalek weaponry, which lines up handily with the palm-mounted Dalek guns seen on TV… all of which is an especially good trick considering that The Curse Of Davros was recorded nearly a full year prior to Asylum‘s premiere.
Timeline: after Industrial Evolution and before The Fourth Wall
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: Following her debut in 2010’s The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster, Flip (still played by Lisa Greenwood) returns in a story proving her worth as a full-time TARDIS traveler. It’s an unusual audition, since it’s obvious to the listener that something isn’t quite right with the Doctor from his first appearance, but naturally Flip doesn’t know what those of us listening know. Colin Baker and Terry Molloy effectively swap roles for much of the story, and manage to do it quite well.
As new companion introductions go, however, The Curse Of Davros treads on surprisingly familiar ground. The dynamic between Flip and Jared is very much like the Rose-Mickey relationship in Rose, or the Amy-Rory dynamic in the earliest eleventh Doctor episodes, down to Flip choosing time travel over a humdrum life with her boyfriend. She’s got no problem with telling Davros off (shades of Donna), and has no end of youthful sarcasm and humor (slightly predating Clara). Flip, at least initially, comes across as a stew of a bit of nearly every female companion the new TV series has given us.
The Curse Of Davros also borrows another thing from the playbook of the current TV series, namely wink-and-a-nudge post-modern reinterpretations of figures from real history. Napoleon is a little bit too post-modern, but one of the story’s saving graces is the distinctive voice of Granville Saxton (a Death Eater in both parts of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows) as the Duke of Wellington. While the Duke is given a similarly ahead-of-his-time reading in the script, Saxton’s performance makes it a little bit easier to take the historical aspect of the story seriously.
But ultimately, what you’re listening to The Curse Of Davros for is the constant game of misdirection both the Doctor and Davros employ in their interplanetary version of Freaky Friday; as the centerpiece (and major twist) of the story, this aspect edges out the pseudo-historical and even edges out the obligatory new companion introduction.