Last night I listened to the Big Finish release The Daleks: The Destroyers and was rather dismissive of it – ‘a distinct let down’ I said on Twitter.
Well, having had twenty-four hours to think about it I decided to write this blog.
My big mistake was to listen to The Destroyers straight after listening to Nicholas Briggs superb two parter Lucie Miller and To The Death. Terry Nation originally wrote his script in 1967 when things were simpler. In the forty five years since, the Daleks, in particular, and drama, in general, have moved on.
And then there is Terry Nation…
Terry Nation was a great ideas man – the enduring popularity of the Daleks and Blake’s 7 proves this. On a good day he was a pretty fine plotter. But, and to my mind it’s a very big ‘but’, he was not a good writer. And by that I mean the words he actually put into his scripts.
I have already put on record that The Dalek Invasion of Earth is my all time favourite Doctor Who story. But when I think of it I think of the plot and the production. The dialogue does not live in my memory.
And I find that that is the problem with the Destroyers. The plot, being the pilot for a proposed series, is OK. The production is up to the usual Big Finish standard. But there is no emotional involvement with the characters. At the end Sara Kingdom’s brother is kidnapped by the Daleks but I did not feel the same emotion as I felt for the characters at the end of To the Death.
If this story had been produced in 1967 I would have wanted to find out what happened next. Today, I find The Destroyers an interesting curiosity; a product of its time.
If you listen to this you will find something to enjoy; just don’t expect it to be up to the high standard of Big Finish’s previous releases.