Just as happened just before he visited the Cimmerian system, the Doctor’s TARDIS is thrashed by the energy of a time corridor – a corridor which just happens to bring him to a future in which few humans seem to know the historical significance of the works of Shakespeare. Even more alarmingly, time has somehow been altered to a degree that even Charley doesn’t know who Shakespeare is. General Mariah Learman does, however, remember the Bard, and she is intently trying to perfect a time machine of her own to set history to rights. The Doctor is troubled enough by Learman’s mission, but when the Daleks emerge from the time corridor – spouting Shakespearean prose – the Doctor knows something is terribly wrong. Shakespeare has been removed from time altogether, and the Doctor may not be able to put history’s most famous dramatist back where (and when) he belongs.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), India Fisher (Charley), Dot Smith (General Mariah Learman), Julian Harries (Major Ferdinand), Nicola Boyce (Viola), Jem Bassett (Kitchen Boy), Mark McDonnell (Priestly), Lee Moone (Hart), Ian Brooker (Professor Osric), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voice), Clayton Hickman (Dalek voice / Yokel), Robert Curbishley (Marcus), Ian Potter (Mark Anthony / Army Officer / Tannoy), Don Warrington (Rassilon)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: Oh dear. This one, I’m very much afraid, is a mess – a hodgepodge of Nathan-Turner/Saward-era Dalek tales which simultaneously seems to lean heavily upon the 1967 classic Evil Of The Daleks for inspiration. The plot is so muddled that it puzzles the will – or, at the very least, diminishes my willingness to sit through the whole thing and listen. Now, even bearing in mind that I recently sat and listened to all 12 – 13 if you count Mission To The Unknown – segments of The Daleks’ Master Plan on CD, Time Of The Daleks proved to be the most torturous Doctor Who audio I’ve heard in a long time. Honestly, the last one I trudged through so miserably was Loups-Garoux. I was so glad for it to be finished. And all of this to set up, at the end, that Charley seems to be the nexus point for a lot of bad things happening? Eek. I don’t mind the Daleks – heck, even as a purely auditory experience, I like them (and don’t let this one frighten you away from the far superior Dalek Empire audio plays). But they do better off in a less convoluted story than this one, or, to give another example, 1984’s labryrinthine TV story Resurrection Of The Daleks. Sadly, Time Of The Daleks adds a misfire to 2002’s otherwise excellent “season” of eighth Doctor audio plays.