The Apocalypse Element (2000)

The Apocalypse Element is the second story to form a series of adventures to act as a teaser to the Dalek Empire series. The first part was The Genocide Machine which was a good story whilst being a little bit complicated. This story sees the return of Lalla Ward as Romana II. Ward played the second incarnation of the character from 1979 to 1980. Following on from Nicholas Courtney’s return in The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, it was going to be interesting to see how Big Finish would handle a proper companion of the series.

The events of The Genocide Machine haven’t happened yet for the Doctor but they have done for the Daleks. It’s because of what the Daleks have learnt from the Library in that story that leads them to understand about the Apocalypse Element. The way that Romana was introduced to the story was quite clever. She was kidnapped some 20 years ago.

Colin Baker was on good form again for this story. Not only is it his first Dalek story with Big Finish it is only his second story with them. Maggie Stables does slip into the background for the second story running. Yet another friend from the Doctor’s past comes back and carries on where they left off. She does have slightly more to contribute in this story but ultimately falls into the number three role. Lalla Ward was simply wonderful as Romana. I always thought that she was an undervalued companion and was the more natural companion out of the two actresses to play Romana.

The Daleks are better in this story than they were in The Genocide Machine. They sound better as well which is the issue that I had in the previous story. Thankfully whilst they don’t sound their usual self’s they are definitely going in the right direction. Their plan seems to be their usual conquer and destroy one but compared to previous plans this one is quite clever.

When I finished listening to this story I thought that it a more enjoyable story than The Genocide Machine but was still riddled with complicated plot points. It’s one that should be listened to as it has two things going for it 1) the return of Romana and 2) its has loads and loads of Daleks in it. Now that cant be bad can it?

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