BTR Productions: The Invasion of The Daleks

by Peter Zunitch




What do you get when you combine an unfortunate name, a simple story and a bunch of concepts and clichés already used multiple times in Doctor Who proper? Well… honestly, something not altogether disastrous.


DR WHO: THE INVASION OF THE DALEKS (Three Parts) – OK

This story should not be confused with the TV series production with the similar name (or the movie with the similar name, or the remake of the movie with an almost identical name, to the first movie, or…, etc. etc. etc.). Yes it’s a very poor choice of title, especially considering the plot, which has nothing to do with an invasion. Anyway, this is a quintessential example of a Doctor Who short story. Indeed we are treated to an entire three-part story in just thirty minutes. There’s not much here in terms of character, action or development, but that’s not why one engages in a short story, is it? Taken for what it is, the piece isn’t that bad. In fact I enjoyed it. I wasn’t thrilled over it, but it kept me amused for the short time it was on. However, if this level of writing and quality were used in a four part series of 30 minutes each, it would have been a bitter disaster.

Listeners should also know that the Doctor is written out for pretty much most of the episode, left to sit in a cell and make the occasional remark to Davros. The plot is all true standard Doctor Who cliché, with the enemy (the Daleks and Davros) locking the Doctor up until they are given what they want. The acting is what it is, with some decent delivery, and some just reading the lines, and I truly wish fan productions would find a better way to make Dalek voices than speaking through a muffled cheap childs toy. Finally, I also feel that stories like this really contribute to the bumbling side of the Daleks, which doesn’t appeal to most fans, including myself. They implement their initial strategy without ever being seen, yet in the end they are little more than pawns for Davros to move around in his pathetic plan. Don’t expect much from this one, but don’t take that as me saying don’t listen either. Just put it in context and enjoy. It’s not an amazing Doctor Who revelation, but it will satisfy your need for a fix.

PART I [11 minutes]

Summary:

After relaxing at a Jazz show and reminiscing about the past, the Doctor ends up captured by the Daleks.

What’s good:

References to the previous Doctors’ stories.  The action moves quick. The teaser.

What’s bad:

Audio is hard to hear, especially Daleks and Davros. There’s no discernible story here.

Plot points:

Who’s doing the bombings? What do the Daleks want with a railway station? The Jazz thing is reminiscent of Sylvester and Sofie’s era.

Bottom line:

The episode is so short there’s not much time for story. However, there are some rather decent characterizations, given that this is such a short episode. A better balance between the two might have worked more nicely, as the plot is really jammed down one’s throat. It is a common trend for fan-made stories to take the “telling of the doctor’s adventures to the companion to pass the time” approach, like John Pertwee and Katie Manning. However those scenes in the show also lent something relevant to the current situation, a device the fan stories usually leave out (this one is no exception). Some build-up would have worked better here.

PART II [11 minutes]

Summary:

The Doctor is held for ransom by the Daleks. Chloe and the authorities try to help.

What’s good:

Well planned. Good cliff hanger. A nice device.

What’s bad:

Why the Daleks are there. How Cliché. The “cutting tools” sound effect. The communications device turned up where?!!

Plot points:

Has everyone heard of the Doctor? I thought that was a New-Who convention. The Daleks use a “communications plaque”, a device worthy of being used in the tv series. They’re Daleks, so why aren’t they simply taking what they want? A countdown is usually given to hurry the other side into complying, however Davros doesn’t bother to tell the humans that it’s started.

Bottom line:

A much better episode than part I, though this one is strictly story and little character development. What has gone on so far is explained rather well. The use of the underground is a nice idea, however it’s too bad they couldn’t come up with a more…nay, an even slightly…original plan for the bad guys.

PART III [13 minutes]

Summary:

The Doctor is held for ransom by the Daleks, and Chloe and the authorities try to help. (Sound familiar? That’s how much happened last episode).

What’s good:

Some decent character voicing at times, even if a bit overdone.

What’s bad:

The passage of an hour in one second’s time, with no music cue or anything. What happened to the sound effects and music? This entire episode is predictable and we’ve seen it all before….more than once.

Plot points:

The Daleks crossed the vast regions of space, planted bombs and took off to destroy… London. Not Humanity, not the planet, just… London. No offence to the Brits, but what will that achieve towards the Daleks conquest of the universe? The colonel asks for a report on the bombs, then retaliates with “spare us the lecture” when he gets it.

Bottom line:

Well there are some plot problems here, and a very predictable ending. Again, the last gasp of the Daleks is inaudible with my cheap earbuds. Convenience seems to be the key element to saving London. There’s also no tension build-up, nor a climax. Finally, it seems that sound effects, which should play a huge part of an audio drama’s production, have been all but completely nixed.

This article was written by

Peter Zunitch

Father, husband, video editor, writer. I want to experience and create stories of all kinds in all mediums and genres. I want to teach and learn something new.

This article was written by

Peter Zunitch

Father, husband, video editor, writer. I want to experience and create stories of all kinds in all mediums and genres. I want to teach and learn something new.