Greeted by Davros and the Daleks after their escape from the Divergent universe, the Doctor, Charley and C’rizz are separated from each other. Davros is suffering from a split personality as he begins to lose himself in the identity of the Emperor Dalek. Charley and C’rizz flee the Daleks with members of a local resistance cell, but they too are separated from each other; Charley joins up with a woman who talks frequently about how her daughter was killed by the Daleks, while C’rizz ends up on the run from the Daleks with a young woman who could very well be that daughter. But the Doctor discovers that she could also be a former TARDIS traveler – even though he has no memory of her. And worse yet, Charley finds out that this planet, the new Dalek homeworld, is also known as Earth – and that its resistance movement is run by the Daleks themselves.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), India Fisher (Charley), Conrad Westmaas (C’rizz), Terry Molloy (Davros), Julia Deakin (Harriet Griffin), Lee Ingleby (Samson Griffin), Lizzie Hopley (Gemma Griffin), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voices)
Timeline: after The Next Life and before Scaredy Cat
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: Terror Firma visits an event in Doctor Who history that was bound to be explored sooner or later – the moment at which Davros allowed his identity to finally be subsumed into that of the Emperor Dalek. It also throws some other major curveballs into the works that seem to demand some explanation down the road.
The big curveball in this story is nothing to do with the Daleks or Davros, and everything to do with the eighth Doctor’s “forgotten companions.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure I like this development. It’s not that I have anything against the characters who were introduced, or even the idea that the eighth Doctor has had other adventures with other sidekicks (after all, all of those novels had to happen sometime). It’s just that the concept seems to be thrown at us here just for sheer shock value. If it’s the beginning of an ongoing storyline, then I’m willing to see where it goes; if it isn’t, then I’m left a little unsatisfied with that plot development. Of course, there’s also that little bit at the end that makes me think C’rizz is about to step out of the shower and announce it was all a dream.
For fans who like a lot of continuity ties to televised stories, this should leave you quite happy. We get references all the way back to Genesis Of The Daleks, lots of connecting tissue that carries the Dalek saga forward from their final televised adventure, 1988’s Remembrance Of The Daleks (in which the Doctor destroyed their home base of Skaro) and could even be interpreted as reaching far enough forward as the ninth Doctor’s encounter with the Emperor Dalek in The Parting Of The Ways (what with Davros’ delusions of godhood, and harvesting the population of Earth for new Daleks), though that’s really a matter of interpretation and retconning as Terror Firma was written and recorded before Parting aired. It is, however, interesting to note that there is some new series influence on the eighth Doctor’s first audio adventure after the premiere – every episode has a pre-titles teaser, very much like most of Christopher Eccleston’s stint as the Doctor on TV.
The cast helps sell the whole thing very well, performing their parts with conviction. I really enjoyed Conrad Westmaas’ development of C’rizz here – I hadn’t really thought about it much before, but once he’s left his home in the Divergent universe, he really is a man without a country, and Westmaas plays that feeling well.
Maybe it’s not fair, but I’m waiting to see this adventure’s effects on the ongoing storyline before I can really make a judgement on how effective some of this adventure’s shocking developments are.