‘The Dalek Trap’ (Audio)

‘THE DALEK TRAP’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Daleks and the Darkness with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie

Lucie ‘bleedin’ Miller is back! 🙂

In 2007, Series 1 of ‘The Eighth Doctor Adventures’ of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish was made. It starred Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller. Since then, Paul McGann’s Doctor and Lucie have had more adventures in the Big Finish audios which ended in 2011.

I’ve not heard many adventures with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie. The ones I’ve heard include ‘Blood of the Daleks’, ‘Human Resources’ and ‘Death In Blackpool’. In general, I’ve enjoyed the Eighth Doctor/Lucie Miller adventures I’ve heard and hope one day I’ll be able to catch up on these stories.

Years later after the initial Eighth Doctor/Lucie Miller adventures ended, Big Finish decided to celebrate ‘Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary @ Big Finish by releasing a new box set of audio stories called ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’. They would star Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith. 🙂

These stories – well, Volume 1 at least – are set in-between Series 1 and Series 2 of ‘The Eighth Doctor Adventures’ with Lucie Miller. So, that means the Volume 1 stories take place after ‘Human Resources’ and are set before ‘Dead London’. This must’ve been very exciting for ‘Doctor Who’ fans!

As part of the ‘Doctor Who Returns’ sale by Big Finish that tied-in with the transmission of Series 12 of the TV show in early 2020, I decided to purchase ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1 CD box set. I was looking forward to some more audios with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie. 🙂

The four stories in ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1 CD collection are as follows. ‘The Dalek Trap’ by Nicholas Briggs, ‘The Revolution Game’ by Alice Cavender, ‘The House on the Edge of Chaos’ by Eddie Robson and ‘Island of the Fendahl’ by Alan Barnes. There’s also a fifth bonus disc which looks into the behind-the-scenes making of these four brand-new audio stories. 😀

Paul McGann, Nicholas Briggs and Sheridan Smith in ‘The Dalek Trap’.

With the first story by Nicholas Briggs called ‘The Dalek Trap’, we’re off to a thrilling start where the Eighth Doctor and Lucie confront Daleks again. Mind you, the results of this audio are mixed for me.

Incidentally, Nick Briggs directs all four stories in Volume 1 of ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’. He also wrote some Eighth Doctor/Lucie stories such as the ‘Sisters of the Flame’ two-parter.

In the story itself, the Doctor and Lucie have fun wherever they go in time and space. I like how this story begins the next set of adventures for the Eighth Doctor and Lucie following ‘Human Resources’.

It was also nice to hear that Lucie tape-recorded a diary on her adventures in space and time. I’m curious about whether she did that in the time she starred in ‘The Eighth Doctor Adventures’ series.

Anyway, the TARDIS soon gets caught up in a black hole in space. The Doctor seems to be going crazy or be non-talkative when he pilots the TARDIS into the black hole itself, much to Lucie’s horror.

In the end, the TARDIS ends up on a planet inside the black hole’s event horizon. Lucie meets two other people on the planetoid whilst the Doctor seems to be under the control of the ghastly Daleks.

My mixed feelings for this story come from there being not enough of Paul McGann’s Doctor speaking in the tale. His presence is there, but I feel that he wasn’t required for the recording dates.

There’s also not very much Eighth Doctor and Lucie interacting with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Lucie to take centre-stage as Sheridan Smith is a terrific actress and so wonderful here.

But as a first story in the box set, I was hoping for more Eighth Doctor and Lucie fighting Daleks together. Something akin to ‘Energy of the Daleks’ where the Fourth Doctor and Leela fought Daleks!

It’s also unusual, eerie and scary when the Doctor doesn’t seem to be in control of himself when he’s made to work for the Daleks. Lucie and other members on the planetoid also become very forgetful.

That’s down to the mysterious Darkness – no, not the one from Series 4 of new ‘Doctor Who’ – that seems to dwell in this strange environment in the black hole. The black hole is actually extraordinary.

It’s the Canthares black hole and the Doctor and Lucie are on the Cradle of the Darkness. The Daleks want the Doctor’s help to escape the planetoid as they’ve engineered bringing him to this black hole.

As always, the Daleks are well-voiced by Nick Briggs in the audio episode! I found it amusing when the Daleks addressed Lucie as ‘Lucie bleedin’ Miller’. That might the first time a Dalek swears in this.

The guest cast also include Matt Lloyd Davies as Jik Gelliska and Amanda Hurwitz as Raz Kallisto. They happen to be on the planetoid already. They regard the Daleks as their friends protecting them.

I actually like the idea that Jik and Raz are accepting of the Daleks as friends whilst they grate in an aggressive manner. I would’ve liked that to have been explored more in the episode with these two.

Lucie is shocked when she hears about the Daleks being on the planetoid and insists to Jik and Raz that the Daleks are evil while they don’t believe. Lucie is even more shocked once the Doctor’s gone.

I liked Sheridan’s performance when she as Lucie gets so frustrated that she struggles to remember who she was whilst Jik and Raz were struggling to remember things. It did make for intense drama. 🙂

In the moments when the Doctor does speak and isn’t acting like a zombie, I like how he has a sense of humour before Lucie during the story’s climax. He even recalls the Darkness as a heavy rock band.

In terms of the Doctor suffering memory issues as well as Lucie, this was something of a common occurrence in the BBC Book adventures of ‘Doctor Who’ with Eighth! I’ve yet to read those books. 😀

I’m also not sure if whether the Daleks observed the Doctor ejecting an item from his TARDIS at the beginning of the story was connected to ‘Image of the Fendahl’. It was not made that clear for me. 😐

Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith in ‘The Dalek Trap’.

Overall, ‘The Dalek Trap’ has been a decent episode to listen to. I would’ve preferred more Eighth Doctor and Lucie fighting Daleks together, but it still has a good performance from Sheridan Smith. 🙂

‘The Dalek Trap’ rating – 7/10


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2 thoughts on “‘The Dalek Trap’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Great review Tim i think they tried focus on Lucie for this opener because of the box sets main title Lucie Miller but i agree it definitely needed more Eighth Doctor narrative because the story feels a bit hollow without him.

    As a four parter this may fared better allowing Lucie her scenes but including more Eighth Doctor & allow the story to be fleshed out more, as it stands this is a average opener but nothing spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Dalek Trap’.

      Yeah, it’s fair that this story focused on Lucie Miller more due to her being the star of this box set. But still, it would’ve been nice to have had more Eighth Doctor in the story. I didn’t realise the first episode of this box set was setting things up for later on in ‘Island of the Fendahl’.

      I agree. Making these stories as full-length two-parters instead of single episode stories would’ve been better, especially for ‘The Dalek Trap’. It’s a decent opening episode, but like you said…’nothing spectacular’.

      Many thanks

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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