In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who – THE DALEK OCCUPATION OF WINTER

This has to be among the best First Doctor Adventures in the Big Finish Early Adventures series. If you're a fan of this range. I'd say that this particular story is an essential one to add to your collection. 

Synopsis: The TARDIS lands in the capital city of a planet deep in the midst of an endless winter. The population are celebrating a new crop of candidates winning roles at the scientific research centre. Those who go there dedicate their lives to continued service and are rarely, if ever, seen again. Not everyone is happy to see them leave.

As the Doctor, Steven and Vicki watch, the city leader – Majorian – invites onto the stage in front of the happy crowd their ‘friend who made all this possible’… and a Dalek appears.

The people of this planet seem to be living in perfect harmony with the Doctor’s old enemies. But the TARDIS crew know this cannot be true. So what’s really going on?

Review: The Dalek Occupation Of Winter is a ‘Doctor Who’ story, which provides a master class in writing the Dalek’s and making them feel like a very real threat.

The Story

When the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki land on the Planet Winter they learn that the entire planet, which is always below freezing in temperature is completely enslaved by Daleks. But more disturbing is the fact that this is very normal to the people of Winter.

Written by David K Barnes. This story is not only a masterclass in writing a solid ‘Doctor Who’ story. It is a master class in writing a Dalek story and Chris Chibnall and the team behind the new BBC series really need to take note of this story and maybe look at David K. Barnes as a potential writer for the series.

Barnes brings us some wonderfully written situations and character beats. I especially enjoyed the various scenes involving Steven and the worker Amala and how this story arc builds up to somewhat of a revolution as Steven helps lead the worker revolt.

I also enjoyed the Doctor’s scenes with the slimy politician Gaius Majorian, who is complicit in enabling the Dalek occupation.

In short, this is a really well thought out and wonderfully constructed story.

Voice Acting

The acting and vocal performances in this story were off the chart. Peter Purves is excellent value as Steven and The First Doctor while Maureen O’Brien is fantastic as Vicki and also does a wonderful job of narrating the story. Nicholas Briggs does awesome work as he gives us various different Dalek voices, but I’m still wanting to hear him do a Dalek from Scotland or Newcastle just to see what that sounds like.

Also wonderful was Robert Daws as the slimy Gaius Majorian and Sara Powell as the ambitious chief of security Jacklyn Karna.

The Artwork

As a rule. I don’t normally mention the artwork, but often will mark it out of 10 based on the fact that I believe the artists that create the various imagery for Big Finish are like the unsung heroes.

This set feels special enough for me to mention it because we got two covers with it. The first, which is the modern logo and the second is a wonderful black and white monochromatic image that feels very true to what might have advertised this particular story had it been written and produced for the classic series. So whoever did this design work. Have a drink on us.


For my money. This has to be among the best First Doctor Adventures in the Big Finish Early Adventures series. If you’re a fan of this range. I’d say that this particular story is an essential one to add to your collection.

  • Story
  • Voice Acting
  • Sound Production & Music
  • Artwork

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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