The Curse of Davros (2012)

Exactly one year before this release we were treated to ‘The Crimes of Thomas Brewster’ and in particular to one Flip Jackson. To be honest I was so focused on Brewster and Evelyn that I didn’t notice Flip so when I heard that the character would be returning in a series of adventures, my reaction was kind of ‘hmmm’. The first monthly release of 2012 sees the return of Davros who hadn’t been seen in a Big Finish play since 2005’s ‘Terror Firma’ though the character did appear in his own series in 2006 but its been too long since the Daleks’ creator appeared in Doctor Who. The story starts off with the Doctor acting very strangley. To be honest it was clear something wasn’t quite right because everything the Doctor said was un-Doctor like. Jonathan Morris has written a story that has one of the most imaginative uses for the Daleks and Davros ever. The idea that the Doctor and Davros have swapped bodies may not be original in some formats but for Doctor Who it was totally brilliant. The title was also very clever because the curse of Davros is being Davros. Normally Davros would want to kill the Doctor but in this story he wants the Doctor to suffer in his body and know what its like the be in the condition. This is quite ruthless and far more sinister than a straight forward extermination.

The Davros/Dalek thing aside, the story also moves from 2012 England to 1815 Belguim where we are treated to two historical figures. Napoleon Bonapatre who’s other Doctor Who credit was of course in the 1964 adventure ‘The Reign of Terror’. The story sees Bonaparte using Dalek technology to help win the Battle of Waterloo after being shown what will happen. This is the where the majority of the story takes place and despite everything being thrown into the mix, the result is a satisfying balance between wanting Davros and Dalek stuff and the Waterloo stuff. There were some nice scenes between Jared and Flip which did a great job in making Flip look like the companion and doesn’t make Jared look like Rory who is a weak character than has only recently got a backbone. In this story Jared does get some of his own action which makes him look like what he is which is a guy from 2012 thrown into 1815 with Binaparte and Daleks.

It’s always good to have Terry Molloy in a Doctor Who because no matter what role he is playing whether it is Davros or someone else he instantly lifts the scene that he is in. In this he sounds like Davros but has to act like Colin Baker. That’s a big ask but did remind me of the episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer and Lister swap bodies and it sounds like an easy thing but in reality its quite difficult but credit to both Molloy and Baker for pulling it off. It’s fair to say that Colin Baker’s Doctor didn’t have the strongest year ever in 2011 but this is an absolutely cracking story. Having to play Davros was a big achievement for Baker and its actually quite fun when I was trying to figure out why he was the proper Doctor. Considering I wasn’t bowled over by the idea of a character that I never remembered being a companion, I have to say that I was very impressed with the character of Flip. Lisa Greenwood is sort of an amalgamation of Rose Tyler and Martha Jones because she is young and can be brash like Tyler but seems to be more understanding like Jones. I think that this character does have potential and I was hoping for a minute or so that Jared would join the TARDIS crew because it would be quite a good idea but then remembered that its been done on TV and it highlights some issues I have with that set up.

The Curse of Davros is a very good start to 2012. Jonathan Morris has written another story that doesn’t get bogged down in science fiction complexities but just goes from A to B in the most entertaining manner. At no point did it become boring or slow or anything that required to stop and think. It has a strong plot and also has the Daleks and Davros to help add superb icing to a very nice cake.

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