Big Finish Audio “Quick Review”
Synopsis: “The library on Kar-Charrat is one of the wonders of the Universe. It is also hidden from all but a few select species. The Doctor and Ace discover that the librarians have found a new way of storing data – a wetworks facility – but the machine has attracted unwanted attention, and the Doctor soon finds himself pitted against his oldest and deadliest enemies – the Daleks!”
Ah yes, the first Dalek-related audio drama Big Finish has produced. Being a huge fan of the little squid-like hooligans, I was excited to see – errr – hear what the audio format had for these guys. This begins a story-arc of sorts that Big Finish has labeled Dalek Empire; it will contain four separate stories with different Doctors held together by the common theme. This segment follows The Doctor and Ace as they are humorously brought to a planet called Kar-Charrat in order to return a library book, lifted from a library where such things are frowned upon. At the same time we cut to another group led by a person that is almost like a “semi-companion” in Bev Tarrant. Bev is a female Han Solo of sorts, and plans to steal a large ziggurat in order to make it rich. Too bad the Ziggurat is full of evil squid monsters surrounded by armor – the Daleks.
After the last McCoy and Aldred play, I was worried that the overly dark nature would spill into all of their plays. Thankfully that isn’t the case, as this play seems more in-line with the show than one of the books. That is the great thing about Big Finish, if you don’t like a certain play, the next one will be completely different, and may strike your fancy. I enjoyed the plotline and dialog; yet felt that it was bit too preachy in some regards, especially when you find out the atrocity the librarians on Kar-Charrat have committed. Without giving away the plot completely, let’s just say that the overtly hippie-like nature of Avatar is pretty close to the mood the audio sets.
The audio only really fails on the insanely contrived plan that the Daleks have hatched. While they are known to have ridiculous over-thought plans in the past, this one is pretty over the top. They basically plan to use the libraries knowledge to create a super Dalek with the power of the Universe, so they plant cryogenic sleeper cells on every planet of this one particular system that also contains the aforementioned “secret” library. I say “secret” because everyone seems to know of it. Plot aside, this was a fun audio adventure, and a blessing of what to come for Sylvester McCoy stories.
My rating: 3 out of 5
Here is a trailer I found on Youtube: