Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: The Dalek Generation by Nicholas Briggs (CD review).

The universe is a wonderful place and the Daleks are its greatest benefactors. For years they have established human colonies on countless worlds. They’ve provided accommodation, jobs and a great quality of life. What could possibly go wrong?


Lillian Belle is a news reporter and is a little fed up with having no news on Sunlight 349, where the Daleks exorcise benign control. When her suspicions are aroused after a train crash, she becomes part of the mysterious human resistance organisation.

Terryn and Alyst Blakely have discovered an amazing truth but, before they can share it, their spaceship is attacked and they make the ultimate sacrifice. Their children are left alone with the Doctor arriving to try to pick up the pieces.

The Doctor is not good at childcare and his incompetence is severely tested in ‘The Dalek Generation’. If you think Daleks are scary, then you’ve never had to entertain a small child!

The audio book is read by the author Nicholas Briggs and he also does the Dalek voices so it’s a twofer. I think this is aimed at the younger generation but, nevertheless, it spins several narrative points and, like knitting, it’s easy to drop your stitches. Here, though, I just about kept up and enjoyed the enthusiasm and warmth that comes from Mr. Briggs’ reading. I like the twist on the Daleks and how that becomes part of the Doctor’s isolation. All of these themes have been used before but it is nice to see them being picked up in a thoughtful way. It’s not just about the adventure, I like a little bit of introspection and self-punishment that marks out No. 11. I think this book addresses several themes that are appropriate to think about such as the ‘bread and circuses’ approach from politicians. They don’t have to be Daleks to make you think you are living the ideal life. There is some pseudo-science in here for those hungry to press shiny buttons but there are also some very bleak moments for the children and for the Doctor. It’s a morality tale in the end but there are some big leaps over the dark precipice and the fear of falling is always present.

‘The Dalek Generation’ has an interesting ending which may divide readers. That is only part of the story and not necessarily the most important as, for all of us, it’s the journey not the destination. This is one of the many roads to take before the Doctor sleeps.

Sue Davies

July 2013

(pub: Audio Go/BBC. 6 CDs 346 minute story. Price: CD: £ 7.99 (UK), (UK). ISBN: 978-1-47132-984-5. Download: £ 6.99. ISBN: 978-1-47132-985-2)

reader: Nicholas Briggs

check out website: www.audiogo.co.uk

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