Daleks Among Us

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Klein and Will return to Earth, now certain that Schalk is still hiding there and perhaps never left. What they find instead is a Dalek, which Klein manages to destroy with her usual ruthless efficiency. The trail then leads them to Azimuth, a world the Doctor previously visited in the company of Ace, where he helped the locals fend off a Dalek invasion. But Azimuth is strangely changed: even saying the word “Dalek” out loud violates the law, since the government of Azimuth has declared that no invasion ever took place, and no Daleks ever landed there. Will immediately runs afoul of this law and discovers that there is an underground movement on Azimuth that not only believes that the Dalek invasion happened, but that it never ended. This resistance movement’s leader is known only as “Father”, a wizened, damaged man whose life support system resembles the lower half of a Dalek – a man known to the Doctor by another name. And the Daleks do indeed still have Azimuth under their control, thanks to their new leader… a particularly persuasive man known to the Doctor and Klein as Schalk. Klein’s destiny and her origins are inextricably linked to Schalk’s, though discovering precisely how may be as dangerous as fighting the Daleks.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), Terry Molloy (Davros), Jonathan Forbes (Hinterberger), Nicholas Briggs (Ralf/The Daleks), Tim Delap (Falkus), Jessica Brooks (Qaren), Paul Chahidi (Entity)

Notes: Will says he’s seen UNIT archival film of Daleks from incidents in Shoreditch (Remembrance Of The Daleks, in this case said to have been filmed by the Countermeasures group) and at Auderly House (Day Of The Daleks). Under Dalek torture, the Doctor recounts, somewhat disjointedly, events chronicled in the television stories The Twin Dilemma, The Sensorites, and The Happiness Patrol. When the Doctor and Will disguise themselves as members of the SS to rescue Klein, she asks “Aren’t you a little short to be stormtroopers?” (a Star Wars gag).

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: The “season finale” of the seventh Doctor’s cycle of stories with Elizabeth Klein and Will Arrowsmith, Daleks Among Us not only embraces the “Daleks as Nazis” metaphor that has been woven into Terry Nation’s earliest TV scripts for the original TV series, but by putting Daleks and Nazis in the same place, the metaphor comes out of the background and steps firmly into the foreground. Daleks Among Us isn’t shy about the analogy, either. Maybe the Daleks aren’t quite the ubermensch, but those who would breed the new ubermensch definitely see potential in them.

The appearance of Davros, carefully kept under wraps prior to release, is a devilish little twist in the tale, and I had forgotten how delightful the verbal sparring can be between Davros a la Terry Molloy and Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor. And taking a cue from Davros’ equally surprising appearance in McCoy’s only televised tangle with the Daleks, Davros does not overpower his creations. If anything, he’s oblivious to their presence in the background at first, something which amuses the Doctor greatly.

But make no mistake, Klein is once again front and center as things come to a head for her: we discover that she was genetically engineered, from the start, in her original timeline, to serve a very specific purpose, one that still would have seen her serving the interests of others with little free will of her own. For all of her resentment of the “Umbrella Man”, the Doctor’s extensive tweaking of her personal history has resulted in what apparently would have been one of the few outcomes allowing her to be a free, self-actualizing person. It’s really one of Big Finish’s most remarkable character arcs – and the team of the Doctor, Klein and Will Arrowsmith works so well that it’s great to discover there are more tales to be told with this TARDIS team. Sounds like an adventure indeed.