Fear of the Daleks (2007)

Fear of the Daleks is the second story from the first series of Companion Chronicles sees an iconic enemy inserted into the story. The Daleks are talked about by Zoe Heriot who had travelled with the Second Doctor between 1968 and 1969. This story was written by Patrick Chapman who as far as I am aware is making his first contribution to the series. There are two questions that are raised instantly about this story. The first being How can Zoe remember an adventure with the Daleks when (on tv at least) she never encountered them? Secondly, The Timelords wiped her mind of all adventures she had after The Wheel in Space so how could she remember any adventures she had with the Doctor and Jamie? Thankfully both these questions are answered.

Zoe remembers leaving Jamie and the Doctor in The Wheel in Space. However in her dreams she remembers stowing away on the TARDIS and the Doctor trying to tell how of the dangers they encounter similar to the sequence of events at the end of that story. The story is set on Lavonia which is a city built inside a protective dome on an asteroid. I think that this is quite a good setting as most people don’t think of people living on such a unknown thing as an asteroid. Zoe is fascinated with the different alien life forms presumably because she hasn’t encountered any in her time on the wheel. The use of the Daleks in this story isn’t the best. There just wasn’t any sense of any menace and ultimately I think that the Daleks are wasted. Cliffhangers are something that I think will get better as this series continues. The cliffhanger in this story was quite good considering. The Daleks circle the Doctor and prepare to exterminate him. Even though there is only about 45 seconds before the action is resumed there is a brief sense that you try and figure out what is going to happen to the Doctor. The ending was quite well done with the Zoe hearing the Doctor’s voice and telling her that the Daleks really have met their end. Zoe stops having the nightmare but has the feeling that the Doctor may be wrong about the Daleks.

Wendy Padbury puts in good performance as Zoe. I always like this character because she wasn’t like a normal female companion and by that I mean wasn’t screaming every 3 minutes and getting into danger. She was smart and also wasn’t annoying. The combination of her, Jamie and the Second Doctor was perhaps the second best of the 1960’s. Nicholas Briggs does another good job as the voice of the Daleks but then again that’s not exactly revelation of the year is it? It’s good that there is at least a minimum of threat from the Daleks and Briggs is able to bring a real sense of

The main problem with this story is that at the end of the release I had a feeling that nothing really happened and that the plot just casually went along filling up the 60 minutes or so. Sure there were some entertaining moments such as the cliffhanger but I don’t think that it was perhaps as good as it could have been. That said it was structured a bit better than Frostfire and its worth a listen as it has the Daleks in it.

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