Doctor Who: Dalek Universe 3 – The Dalek Defence / The Triumph of Davros Review

We reach the end of the Dalek Universe strand of stories as The Doctor and Anya end up stuck in the middle of the Movellan / Dalek war and soon meet not only the creator of the Daleks in Davros but meeting the progenitor of the Movellans as well…

Synopsis:

The Doctor and Anya are trapped between battling Dalek and Movellan forces and only the intervention of Earth can get them out of trouble.

But the humans have troubles too – and a very familiar prisoner: Davros.

Stuck in a universe before the Time War, the Doctor is bound by the rules of his own past… Can he keep everyone alive without changing history? And would he even want to?

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Not sure why The Doctor looks like he’s a happy fan getting his picture taken, but whatever gets him through the day!

I can’t say I ever wanted a big information dump on the origins of the Movellans but I can say I was happy with the one we got! This story starts off similarly to the Fifth Doctor classic “Resurrection of the Daleks” as The Doctor and Anya are transported onto a ship that’s carrying Davros frozen in cryo-sleep. Of course despite everything Davros ends up woken from his sleep and he and The Doctor have a bit of a chat, though given this is latter-day Tenth Doctor he can’t help but just imagine all the crazy things he goes on to do from here, especially having just met a version of Davros who tried to literally erase all life in the universe. Anya meanwhile meets Colonel Keelan (Joseph Millson) who is a member of the Space Secruity Service equivalent of the time period and assumes she is here because of the rumoured SSS time travel experiments, so it got that out of the way without too much “that’s impossible” dialogue.

Their ship is soon shot at by Daleks and followed by Movellans as it crashes on Kembel (yes, Kembel of “Daleks’ Master Plan” fame…) leading to The Doctor and Davros being captured by the silver-dreadlocked robots. We’re soon treated to a cliffhanger reveal that the First Movellan and their leader is none other than Mark Seven (still Joe Sims, in case you were wondering!) who after his death in the previous box was recovered and reprogrammed, eventually becoming so dedicated to his mission to destroy Daleks that he created the Movellens in his own… well, not image but programming, I guess. Mark Seven, Mo-Vellan, I see what they did there! It was a fun reveal.

Great cover! Even effectively makes it look like Anya is duel wielding space pistols, which… I’m not sure she does in the story, but it is audio maybe we just didn’t see it!

The last episode sees some regular running about as a Dalek troop consignment emerges from the catacombs under Kembel’s petrified forest and fights it out with the Movellans while The Doctor, Anya and Col. Keelan all scramble in different directions. Davros manages to convince the First Movellan that an alliance against Earth was the best course of action, only to betray him (come on Mark, the old you never would’ve fallen for that!) and soon both the Daleks and the Movellans are wiped out, either by each other or an arriving Earth army. The Doctor apologises to Mark, who briefly takes his old body back over, and manages to use a Dalek Time Capsule to get back to the post Time War universe and his TARDIS, Anya joins up with Col. Keelan and the new Earth protection force, Davros goes back in the deep freeze and the First Movellan is restored by some of his surviving underlings and decides the best plan of action against the Daleks would be to create a virus that attacks their biological original selves, setting up the whole plot of the already mentioned Fifth Doctor “Resurrection” story (in a Tenth Doctor audio, oddly!)

The Bad:

Nothing stands out as being too bad but compared to some of the stories in the earlier two sets this finale seemed more… basic, a standard big explosion-filled finale with some fun reveals before everything is put nicely in its place. Not a bad thing, and you know it would’ve been worse if it were just a crap finale, but it’s worth mentioning why it won’t score a five.

The Continuity:

Another look at the overall cover. Not sure what The Doctor is reaching out for, but I hope he manages to grab it!

Quite a bit of Dalek lore going on here, which given the series title makes sense! As mentioned in the previous story this is set in between the Fourth Doctor TV story “Destiny of the Daleks” and the Fifth Doctor TV story “Resurrection of the Daleks”, actually setting up several key plot points for the latter. The planet Kembel was the final planet featured in the First Doctor epic “The Daleks’ Master Plan” and the planet where Anya’s Aunt Sara was killed. The planet also features as the setting of the Fourth Doctor audio double “The False Guardian / Time’s Assassin” which also featured Anya as her Ann Kelso identity. Lastly the Dalek Time Capsule is of the same type the First Doctor used to send Ian and Barbara home in TV story “The Chase”, which the Tenth Doctor makes reference to in this story…

There are several call backs to events in previous Dalek Unvierse sets you won’t be shocked to hear, plus a few mentions of other Doctor / Dalek encounters including mention of the “Cult of Skaro” from several Tenth Doctor TV stories (Damn, that should’ve been in the first Continuity paragraph, though I guess that’s big enough already…) Right at the end The Doctor decides to visit Queen Elizabeth I in 1562, placing this right before his appearance in the multi-Doctor story “The Day of the Doctor”.

Overall Thoughts:

The two-part finale of the Dalek Universe storyline was a fun one, featuring a good twist in the middle and Terry Molloy still killing it with his Davros voice, plus David Tennant on fine form as he has been in all these recent sets. You can make the argument that it was a bit “finale-by-numbers” and in fact that’s why it’s a 4 rather than a 5 but it’s still a good entertaining two hours to end the boxsets on…

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