The Mutant Phase
The Doctor and Nyssa are thrust into a deadly situation involving the Thals and the Daleks. An unknown contaminant has invaded the Daleks’ biology, a contaminant which is spreading like wildfire through the interconnected consciousness/data network of the metallic terrors. The Daleks are now asking their arch nemesis for help – but they’re still not beyond their usual brand of treachery, and the Doctor discovers that helping the Daleks could unravel his own history, creating a temporal paradox… assuming that the paradox hasn’t already trapped him.
Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Christopher Blake (Ptolem), Jared Morgan (Ganatus), Mark Gatiss (Roboman), Andrew Ryan (Albert), Sara Wakefield (Delores), Mark Gatiss (Karl)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: I really have to cry foul on the final Doctor Who Audio Adventure of 2000. Written, directed and scored by Dalek afficionado Nick Briggs, The Mutant Phase may now feature a real Doctor and companion, but it’s hardly new material. The Mutant Phase can be traced back to Briggs’ series of amateur-produced audio cassette Audio-Visuals from the 1980s. Same basic scripts. Same storyline. Only now with much slicker production and better paid actors! Granted, it’s entirely possible that the percentage of fandom which is aware of the Audio-Visuals from the ’80s, to say nothing the percentage that has actually heard them, is tiny enough that the story will be new to most. And even those who have heard it might enjoy hearing a new take featuring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. But I was never that fond of the story to begin with, and even a shiny new coat of aural paint doesn’t help it.
The production actually sounds pretty nice, but my primary complaint with Mutant Phase – aside from its occasionally hard-to-follow paradoxical storyline – is simply that it’s old material. If I want to plunk down my hard-earned money for two CDs of old material, I’ll buy one of the BBC Radio Collection’s “lost episode” titles. With such triumphs as The Holy Terror, The Fearmonger, Shadow Of The Scourge and Land Of The Dead in its 2000 “season” of Audio Adventures, I was hoping for a better Christmas present from Big Finish – and I really start to wonder whether or not I’ll bother with the upcoming Dalek Empire audios, due in summer 2001.