Synopsis: Something is very wrong in Doctor Who: Shadow of the Daleks 2. The Fifth Doctor is lost in the Time War. Can he solve the mystery involving his oldest and deadliest enemies?
Review: Big Finish concludes the story that began in Doctor Who: Shadow of the Daleks 1. More than that, the writers address all the major questions with logic and forethought.
I love that the authors hide everything listeners need in plain sight. In the end, the answer is as obvious and tragic as the Daleks themselves. For all that, the scopes and styles of the individual stories are in no way limited.
“Echo Chamber” by Jonathan Barnes reestablishes the central conundrum. In the process, the actors accomplish two goals. First, they’re allowed internal commentary on recording in isolation. Second, they play a marvelous allegory around toxic talk radio.
“Towards Zero” by Roland Moore is the latest Agatha Christie homage. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say without giving away spoilers. Yet again, the mystery is the plot, and the plot is the mystery.
“Castle Hydra” by Lizzie Hopley is my favorite tale in the set. Indeed, the historical and literary references are a special treat in Doctor Who storytelling. Additionally, I appreciate the foreshadowing. Of course, the Doctor wouldn’t be the only one to notice.
“Effect and Cause” by John Dorney is the fateful climax. Not surprisingly, irony and stoicism are central to the story. After all, irony and stoicism have been driving Dalek narratives for decades now.
As ever, Peter Davison is superb throughout. However, I truly enjoy his performance in “Echo Chamber.” Davison portrays Five’s discomfiture wonderfully. Honestly, I almost pressed pause several times. It’s nerve wracking listening to Five flail as an impromptu talk radio host.
Dervla Kirwan and Anjli Mohindra are also excellent throughout in their multiple roles. That said, they seem especially gleeful while playing the more arch characters. For their parts, Glen McCready and Jamie Parker lean heavily into the tropes they were given with strong results.
Thanks, Big Finish, for a story that flows well and finishes strong. With the exception of Eight, though, please don’t trap any more classic Doctors in the Time War. The strength of Doctor Who: Shadow of the Daleks 1-2 lies in The Doctor reacting to a singular situation.
You can purchase Doctor Who: Shadow of the Daleks 2 here.
- Audio Production10