Blood of the Daleks

Roots: Ethnic cleansing. There are references to Casanova.

Dialogue Disasters: Lucie calls a Dalek "dome 'ead!"

Dialogue Triumphs: Lucie to the Doctor: "Keep your hair on. That is your hair, I take it?"

She tells Klint that the Doctor is her "chauffeur".

"My place? This isn't a date! This is cosmic gerrymandering!"

Ordered to describe the Doctor, Lucie tells the Daleks: "About forty-something... old. Wears funny stuff, like a hippy."

"You must be the Dalek Supreme. Appalling to see you again."

The Doctor witheringly asks Cardwell, "So it was your plan to kill us all? That's good, that's very good. Because I'd hate to think you'd done something so monumentally stupid by accident!"

Continuity: The Dalek ship that lands on Red Rocket Rising is badly scarred and is commanded by a Dalek Supreme. They can fly (see Dalek). Their main force is deployed in sector Alpha Z Gamma 9 and they are fighting a war [the early stages of the Time War?]. The metallic dust in the atmosphere of Red Rocket Rising caused by the asteroid strike interferes with their sensors. Professor Martez was turning humans into Dalek mutants, having borrowed their technology from a Dalek ship that crashed on Red Rocket Rising years earlier. When Martez was arrested, he affected a fatal stroke, but performed a brain wave transfer to place his mind into the body of his assistant Asha Griben. Martez sent out a signal to the Daleks to invite them to Red Rocket Rising to assist in the birthing of his new Dalek race: the Daleks deflected the asteroid to destroy Red Rocket Rising to wipe out Martez's genetically impure strain, and arrive in the form of a "relief ship" to finish the job.

Red Rocket Rising has more than one sun. The gravity of Red Rocket Rising is near-Earth normal. The planet is a human colony, which was largely destroyed by the asteroid strike: the debris cloud has blocked out the sunlight from the planet's surface. Most of the population was killed by the impact, and the earthquakes and tidal waves that followed. Water in the atmosphere reacts with nitrous oxide in the dust cloud, producing highly corrosive acid rain. Several exodus ships have already left the planet with survivors on board selected by a lottery, but there are still humans that have been unable to escape. The exodus ships were all shot down by the Dalek ship. Some humans survived the holocaust by hiding underground.

Professor Martez was tried for his crimes, which involved grave-robbing and eventually murder, as he sought to acquire human tissue samples. Despite protesting her innocence, his assistant Asha was also tried and sentenced to life in prison.

The Doctor is travelling alone at the start of this story, when Lucie Miller appears in the TARDIS. The Time Lords establish a shield around Northern England, 2006, so that the Doctor can't take her back. His body temperature is fifteen degrees Celsius. He knows how to program Dalek guidance systems.

Lucie probably has middle names, but refuses to reveal what they are. She is from England, 2006. She was "whisked away" from Earth by the Time Lords on her first day of work in her new job: they used a perception filter to stop her revealing too much, and placed in the Doctor's company as a sort of "witness protection program".

The Headhunter is hired by a Mr Hulbert to recover Lucie Miller and can travel in time.

Links: The Doctor is travelling alone at the start of this story, which is set after Charley and C'rizz's departure (Absolution, The Girl Who Never Was). The Doctor mentions Movellans (Destiny of the Daleks) and Mechanoids (The Chase). He implies that he's keen to wipe out Martez's Daleks because the last time he had such an opportunity, he made a terrible mistake (Genesis of the Daleks).

Location: Red Rocket Rising, [The Daleks claim that it is "centuries" since they were created].

Future History: Solar-powered cars are used on Red Rocket Rising. Fission-cell batteries have largely been abandoned due to their volatility. The Daleks are largely forgotten by the colonists on Red Rocket Rising, but records still exist of mankind's previous encounters with them.

The Bottom Line: "They're trapped in a perpetual nightmare of hate and fear. They're Daleks now." With two warring Dalek factions, humans turned into Daleks, and Daleks deviously allying themselves with humans to get what they want, there is little new here, but Lyons' script is lean and focused, making for an impressive start. The sarcastic take on the Eighth Doctor, and his spiky relationship with Lucie Miller, is a vast improvement on his previous Big Finish outings. The guest cast is great, especially Kenneth Cranham.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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