Brotherhood of the Daleks

Story 114
Written by Alan Barnes
Released on October 2008

After tragic parting, Charley Pollard has found her way back into the TARDIS, once more traversing the depths of time and space. The weird thing is, it's the 'wrong' Doctor, a previous incarnation dressed in a strange harlequin-like coat. Realizing her error, Charley must refrain from revealing anything to this previous version of her friend in order to retain the integrity of the web of time. But when se comes face to face with the dreaded Daleks, things get complicated. Because they remember Charley.

The Doctor is expecting a subzero environment outside the TARDIS, but when the doors open he finds that not only is it a tropical environment, but it is a familiar one, the planet Spiridon. A small platoon of Thals are lost in the deadly jungle, on the hunt for a nest of Daleks but with very limited supplies. It all seems a bit too familiar to the Doctor and when the facade is dropped, the travelers find that they are in an experimental chamber in which hallucinatory pollen is causing everyone within to experience a shared hallucination... everyone including the Daleks who have been hallucinating that they are Thals.

Alan Barnes is one of the most gifted of Doctor Who's authors, having all but single-handedly crafted the Eighth Doctor in the comic strip and delivering some of that Doctor's most memorable adventures. This time around it almost seems like he is getting bored and is showing off his writing skills by spinning stories within stories, tricking the listener into situations that are turned in their heads just as soon as s/hr is drawn in. Not only does this story involve hallucinations and Daleks thinking that they are Thals, but there are also replicants and other plot ideas that keep the tale twirling around through all four parts.

In the CD extras, Colin Baker freely admits that he is worried that there may be too many moving parts this time around, counting roughly five separate facades in Brotherhood of the Daleks, but (as always) it is the strength of the performances that make this one such a stunner. Guest actor Michael Cocchrane (from Ghost Light) plays the half man/half plant scientist playing the Daleks' mad scheme against them, or so he thinks and India Fisher is just so amazing as Charley that she brings any scene that she is in to life. I am sure that many fans were worried when she was paired with 'Sixy,' but she and Colin gel almost immediately. The comedic timing and tense dramatic scenes, including on in which she is forced to reveal everything to the Doctor, are just wonderful. Another fantastic Doctor/companion pairing.

I have been listening to a lot of Dalek audio stories and the key ingredient that makes the good ones work so well is their cunning and ruthlessness. In Alan Barnes Brotherhood of the Daleks, the devious prepper-pots are at their most conniving and evil selves, resorting to plans within plans and realities within realities to achieve their ends. Through it all, the Doctor and Charley must play a game of mental hopscotch to remain one step ahead. A superb Doctor Who audio and one of the more memorable Dalek stories as well.

Brotherhood Of The Daleks 3D Animation

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Additionally, a maxi-bust is on its way of the Sixth Doctor. Packaged with a Scout Cyberman from the 1984 adventure, a release date is till pending. To date , the Fourth, Third, Tenth and Eleventh have been released with the Eighth, Fifth and First still forthcoming. These are marvelously detailed pieces that I cannot praise enough.