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The Doctor and Mel vs. Davros; the Daleks and the Mechanoids
This is one great Dalek fest!
‘The Juggernauts’ is one of my favourite Dalek stories featuring Colin Baker’s Doctor. It’s a great four-part story that’s action-packed and it contains lots of elements for ‘Doctor Who’ fans to enjoy. It not only features the Sixth Doctor facing the Daleks, but also Mel; Davros and the robotic Mechanoids.
I had this audio adventure for Christmas in 2010. I wanted to hear this story after seeing the Mechanoids in the TV story called ‘The Chase’ with William Hartnell. My Dad remembers the Mechanoids very well from ‘The Chase’ and I thought he would like to hear them this audio drama.
My Dad was impressed with this story and how the Mechanoids sounded on audio. Nicholas Briggs does a really terrific job doing the voices for the Mechanoids as well as for the Daleks. This story kept me interested throughout. It wasn’t boring at all and I’m very pleased I was able to listen to it easily.
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Juggernauts’ signed by Colin Baker; Bonnie Langford and Terry Molloy at conventions in Swansea, September 2013; Newcastle, October 2013 and Bournemouth, August 2015. Colin Baker and Terry Molloy recommended this to me at the ‘Regenerations 2010’ convention in Swansea, September 2010.
‘The Juggernauts’ is by American ‘Doctor Who’ fan/writer Scott Alan Woodward. He managed to incorporate the Doctor; Mel; the Daleks; Davros and the Mechanoids superbly and balances the characters throughout. I’m really impressed with what Scott has done with writing this superb story.
The story has the Doctor sending Mel out into space after they escape from an exploding medical vessel. Months later, Mel lives a life on the colony planet of Lethe and is working with her fellow workers on a project run by a certain Professor Vasso. Mel gets to use her computer skills in this tale.
The project is on the development of a number of service-robots called the Juggernauts. The Juggernauts happen to be the Mechanoids; and Vasso happens to be Davros. The Doctor, after having been rescued by renegade Daleks, is sent to Lethe to find out what Davros is up to on Lethe.
In terms of continuity, ‘The Juggernauts’ is set in between ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’. Davros is now encased in a gleaming white and gold Dalek casing from his human/imperial Daleks remains on Necros. He’s soon on his way to becoming the Emperor Dalek.
Davros now has a metallic right hand as his real one got blown off in ‘Revelation’ and would be seen later on in ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’. This is the fourth time the Sixth Doctor meets Davros as his first was in ‘Davros’, his second was in ‘Revelation’ and his third was in ‘The Curse of Davros’.
I remember saying to Terry Molloy at a convention how much I enjoyed ‘The Juggeranuts’. Terry was delighted to hear me say that. I think it’s fair that Terry is one of the best actors to play Davros. That’s not discrediting Michael Wisher or Julian Bleach as they’re good too when they play Davros.
Davros now works under a disguise. He’s managed to convince his workers including Mel (with a perception filter) that he’s Professor Vasso; appearing human and in a wheel-bound chair. Terry plays Professor Vasso by using his own voice compared to Davro’s harsh; guttural tones like a Dalek.
Colin Baker delivers one of his best performances as the Doctor in this audio adventure. I’m really pleased with how Big Finish have developed and expanded Colin’s Doctor in more ways than one. Colin’s done hundreds of these audio dramas of ‘Doctor Who’. He never seems to get tired of them.
I liked that Colin’s Doctor’s focus is to save Mel as he shows more of his compassionate side in this story. He imbues his sense of humour and makes his Doctor wisecracking and loveable. Both the Doctor and Mel share an interesting relationship and he means business when he confronts Davros.
Bonnie Langford is terrific as Melanie Bush (Mel for short). Mel is a companion I feel sorry for as she didn’t get a good run of stories in the TV series. Scott Alan Woodward has made Mel a more interesting character for Bonnie to play with and I’m sure she enjoyed doing that as Mel on audio.
In this story, Mel has been living a life on Lethe for nearly three months. She’s made some good friends and I really like the almost potential romance Mel has with Geoff that’s subtly touched upon. Its clear Geoff really likes and fancies Mel and she responds warmly to him which I liked listening to.
The Daleks are great to listen to and are wonderfully voiced by Nicholas Briggs. There are echoes of the war between the renegade and imperial/human Daleks from the TV stories ‘Revelation’ and ‘Remembrance’. The sound effects for the Daleks are amazing in their gun battles against each other.
I was thrilled to bits when I heard the Mechanoids in this audio adventure. Nick Briggs makes them sound exactly as they were in ‘The Chase’ with the strange robotic language they used that no one can understand. The sound effects of the Mechaniods’ movement are the same as in ‘The Chase’.
These Mechanoids are different from ‘The Chase’ as they were originally pure robots meant for colonisation on Mechanus. Here, Davros turns them into something else as he puts human brains and body parts in the Mechanoids robotic bodies which is gruesomely horrible and must be stopped.
There are no CD extras for ‘The Juggernauts’, as there aren’t any trailers found at the end of Disc 2.
‘The Juggernauts’ is a real Davros/Dalek/Mechanoid treat that I’ve enjoyed. I relished listening to this audio drama as it is pretty pacey and kept my interest throughout. It’s a great one with Terry Molloy as Davros; Bonnie Langford as Mel and Colin Baker as the Doctor with Daleks and Mechanoids in it.
‘The Juggernauts’ rating – 10/10
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