This story centres around a corporation called Trans-Allied Ink. It is run by Arnold Baynes and his wife Lorraine Baynes. Both characters are very well written and well acted by Bernard Horsfall (who has appeared in several TV adventures during the 60’s and 70’s) and former companion Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot). Together they just gelled and acted like a couple. It was in particular Lorraine that interested me as she was a historian who was just asking for trouble by trying to put a sympathetic slant on the Daleks. As a couple they were both greedy and don’t care how or who they use to get results.
To say that Colin Baker and Terry Molloy are superb with each other would be understatement of the century. Truly they are superb and seem to revel in one ups-man ship. The Doctor seems to enjoy winding up Davros which is entertaining to listen to. They had previously appeared together in Revelation of the Daleks (1985). In that the scenes that they were on screen together were some of the best of the story. The story is a very good one that slowly unravels and over the course of the story we are lead to believe that Davros is a changed being. There was something in my mind that says this was an act because characters like Davros don’t change their spots. No matter what may have happened before there is no way someone like Davros would change and it was only a matter of time before he showed his true colours.
If there is a fault with this story it is the length. Episode 1 is nearly 74 minutes long and Episode 2 is 78 minutes long. To me there were moments that I felt it needed a break. As much as I loved hearing the Doctor and Davros bicker I just felt that it perhaps would have been even better as 4 x 45 minute episodes.
What Lance Parkin has done is to Davros doesn’t need Daleks to prop him up and that the character itself is strong enough to be able to cause menace on his own. The role of Davros kind of got a bit insane in the 1980’s but that sort of got pulled back a bit in this story but it was essentially the same Davros. Gary Russell does his usual very good job as director I think he does have to share the blame for the length of each episode. That aside I think that all the scenes that mattered and the actual flow of the story is very well done.
Aside from the slight issue with the duration, I think that this is a thumping good story with characters that enjoyable and a plot that is structured well that is executed in the correct manner. I think that the following story will have to do something pretty big to outshine this story.