‘The Mutant Phase’ (Audio)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

Nyssa meets the Daleks

‘The Mutant Phase’ is of my favourite Dalek stories in ‘Doctor Who’ from Big Finish!

It stars Peter Davison as the Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa (my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion). It also sheds a new light on the Daleks and what they represent. It was the second Big Finish audio drama of ‘Doctor Who’ I purchased with ‘Circular Time’ and ‘Renaissance of the Daleks’.

The story is about the Doctor and Nyssa in the TARDIS being dragged to the planet Earth in the 22nd century in Kansas, America. It’s a period of history the Doctor knows as he foiled ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’. The Doctor and Nyssa try to escape, before a Roboman captures them and a Dalek arrives.

The Doctor and Nyssa manage to escape from Kansas and get into the TARDIS, only to get caught in a time corridor. They end up in the 43rd century where the Daleks have been waiting for the Doctor. They want him to sort out a new menace that is wiping out the Daleks called…’the Mutant Phase’!

Peter Davison in ‘The Mutant Phase’.

I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Mutant Phase’ signed by the lovely Sarah Sutton and also by Nicholas Briggs. This four-part story is from the brain child of Nick Briggs who does everything on this as the director; writer; producer; sound designer; music maker and voice of the Daleks (with Alistair Lock).

This is truly a remarkable story by one man running things. Nick Briggs is a truly nice guy. I’ve chatted to him at conventions and told him that Nyssa’s my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion. Nick finds Sarah lovely and I was delighted to hear him say that. He writes Nyssa remarkably well in this story.

Nick Briggs came up with the question of ‘what if there was something far more terrifying than the Daleks, and what if the Daleks were afraid of it?’ It’s an inspired idea and it has gone to be the template for some of the new series episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ with the Daleks in them like ‘Dalek’.

Here the Daleks are afraid of something happening to their mutant forms and they want to stop it happening. It shows a side to the Daleks we rarely see since they tend to be monotonous. I’ve done my own Dalek story where they face an enemy far powerful than they are and they become afraid.

N.B. Check out ‘Doom of the Daleks’ by Tim Bradley, where the Daleks face the menace of the evil Dwaxi.

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in ‘The Mutant Phase’.

I’ve chatted to Sarah Sutton about this story when I asked her to sign the CD cover for me at the ‘Regenerations 2013’ convention in Swansea, 2013. I told Sarah how thrilled I was that Nyssa had met the Daleks at last in this story. Sarah was pleased too since she was denied meeting the Daleks from the TV series. It seemed right that Nyssa should meet the Daleks during her travels with Doctor.

Nyssa is amazing in this story as she proves her worth as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion. She works well with Peter Davison’s Doctor and works things out like escaping the Daleks’ time corridor and using the TARDIS database to find out more about the wasps in the 22nd century. Nyssa does gets stung by a wasp which is very painful for her but becomes significant about what’s going on in the adventure.

Nyssa also shows how strong she as she gets to ‘kick butt’ when being threatened. She questions the Doctor about interfering with history and makes a reference to Adric when they couldn’t save him in ‘Earthshock’. This is material that I’m sure Sarah enjoyed doing when she played Nyssa in this story.

Peter Davison is brilliant as the Fifth Doctor in this. He gets to face the Daleks in his first chronological encounter with them. The Doctor is bothered by the Daleks and the mutant phase connecting to a time paradox. He gets to use his sense of humour and I loved his scenes with Nyssa.

Peter Davison and Nicholas Briggs in ‘The Mutant Phase’.

This story has three of the best cliff-hangers I’ve heard on audio. My favourite is in ‘Part Two’ when the Doctor is forced to surrender when the Daleks threaten to kill Nyssa. I wondered what would happen next. Another is ‘Part Three’ and one I didn’t expect. I won’t reveal it to spoil the surprises.

The story guest stars Christopher Blake as Professor Ptolem, a Thal scientist who is working for the Daleks. He is torn between working with the Daleks and betraying his heritage. He’s joined by Jared Morgan as Commander Ganatus who work to capture the Doctor and deal with the ‘mutant phase’.

Mark Gatiss guest stars as Professor Karl Hendryk. Mark has gone on to be a writer on the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. Karl is a German professor, who prefers to be in the dark. He shows the Doctor a dead mutant creature and reveals what happened to Earth when it was attacked in the 43rd century.

I enjoyed the Daleks in this audio story. They reminded me of the new series Daleks, especially with Nick Briggs as the voices for them. They get hyper and psychotic when giving out orders. The Daleks are on a panic attack when one of their units breaks out and it ends up as a ‘mutant phase’ creature.

Peter Davison and Mark Gatiss in ‘The Mutant Phase’.

I was terrified when a Dalek was inside the TARDIS and it commands the Doctor to pilot the TARDIS to Skaro. I couldn’t help think of the Daleks in their bronze forms from the new series when I listened to this audio adventure. My mind is spoilt by new series Dalek atmospheres and settings these days.

Here’s an impressive video of two Dalek scenes from ‘The Mutant Phase’ that have animated amazingly well by Dark Raven Productions on YouTube. These scenes allow a glimpse of what ‘The Mutant Phase’ could look like if it was fully animated for a webcast.

The Dalek Emperor appears in this audio story. I can’t help think of the Dalek Emperor from ‘The Parting of the Ways’. The Emperor commands the Doctor to go back to 22nd century Earth to stop the ‘mutant phase’ happening. It’s a request that the Emperor doesn’t trust the Doctor to carry out.

In my opinion, the climax is the weakest part of the story. The paradox folds in on itself and there’s a slow-motion sequence where the Doctor and Nyssa escape. Leaving in the TARDIS, Nyssa demands an explanation on what’s just happened. The Doctor gives her an explanation and it’s pretty weak.

Like Nyssa, I couldn’t get what the Doctor was on about. It didn’t make sense as the end was rather rushed and I’m sure for many fans, it left them unsatisfied. I’m still not clear about what the story’s final moments were. I’m glad Nyssa was there to say it ‘didn’t make sense’ and that it wasn’t just me.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2, there’s a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘Storm Warning’, the first audio adventure with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and India Fisher as Charley Pollard.

‘The Mutant Phase’ is one of my favourite Dalek stories from the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa adventures. It’s an exciting adventure where Nyssa meets the Daleks and is a truly interesting take on something that’s rarely seen in the Daleks. The conclusion is weak, but for the most part this is a gripping tale.

‘The Mutant Phase’ rating – 9/10

DWA_FG_124 - Copy


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In 2009, there was a special release of ‘The Mutant Phase’ included in Issue 124 of the ‘Doctor Who Adventures’ magazine. It was released as a free gift. The CD cover/casing of the special release of ‘The Mutant Phase’ above proves it.

The story was compressed into two episodes instead of four. It was a bit like the DVD special edition of ‘Enlightenment’. This is an interesting condensed version of the story, although I don’t think the ending was any clearer as to what happened. The story was pretty patched up together as a result.

Surprisingly I had this version of ‘The Mutant Phase’ as a free gift when I purchased ‘Fury From The Deep’ from a supplier on Amazon.co.uk. I’ve saved the condensed version on my computer and given the ‘Doctor Who Adventures’ version of ‘The Mutant Phase’ on CD to a friend of mine as a Christmas present.

I enjoyed the condensed version of ‘The Mutant Phase’. I’m afraid it’s not as good as the full-length four part adventure. I liked the introduction given by Nicholas Briggs about Big Finish. It’s also a very enjoyable, fast-paced action-packed adventure. But with the Daleks in it, how could it be not?

The condensed edit of ‘The Mutant Phase’ is now available to download for free on the Big Finish Soundcloud page.

‘The Mutant Phase’ (Doctor Who Adventures) rating – 6/10

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9 thoughts on “‘The Mutant Phase’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord007

    Brilliantly reviewed Tim, I’m in complete agreement about the climax, surely this could’ve been fleshed ut & expanded upon a bit better, surely Nick Briggs hearing a rough cut of this must have thought his ending needed more explanation?

    On the whole though a very enjoyable audio drama, I’d rate it 8/10

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Thanks Timelord Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Mutant Phase’. This is one of my favourite Dalek stories with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.

    Yes the climax could have been better, and even from listening to it recently I’m still unsure about what went on in those last few moments and pleased that Nyssa said the Doctor’s explanations didn’t make any sense.

    I don’t know whether Nick Briggs meant for the story to end like that on a confusing note. Perhaps he did, as it is very thought-provoking and makes you think about went on in that ending. His second story for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, ‘Creatures of Beauty’ is more thought-provoking than ‘The Mutant Phase’ isn’t it?

    Glad you enjoyed my review, Simon. Thanks for your comments.

    Tim. 🙂


  3. Timelord 007

    Recently reviewed this one & boy does the climax make my head hurt, it needs a complete re-edit to make it more accessible, barring that minor quibble this is a cracking audio dtama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Yeah it’s a shame the climax doesn’t match up to the rest of the story as it’s pretty good and one of my favourites with the Dalek featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Perhaps a re-write on the explanation for the story would help.

      Glad you’ve enjoyed re-reading my Nyssa reviews, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂


  4. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim

    I downloaded this story onto the Big Finish app from their website to listen to last year, along with the Sirens of Time. I had fun listening to it as the story had me on tenterhooks. This was actually my introduction to Nyssa and I have since seen her in the New Beginnings trilogy.

    Speaking of Nyssa, I found time over the weekend to rewatch the Doctor Who cookbook revisited. It was fun to view again and most of the dishes looked delicious. Some of the anecdotes during the Kipper of Traken segment were hilarious. I presume that if Sarah, Janet and Toby had taken better measures, the meal may have looked and tasted better. I bet that’s how they did it on Traken, they probably know better than to give themselves and their visitors Traken Tummy. I have thought about actually getting the cookbook for myself, although the prices on Amazon range from £24-£80.

    P.S. In case you aren’t able to work it out, I am the user formerly known as MediaLover. I decided to change my avatar and name on my Google account, so this is how you’ll see me whenever I comment on your blog now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi ML/Williams Fan 92.

      Thanks for letting me know about your change of avatar and name.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Mutant Phase’. Interesting that this was your introduction to Nyssa through Big Finish. Glad you enjoyed the story and hope you enjoyed the stories in the ‘New Beginnings’ trilogy.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the ‘Doctor Who Cookbook Revisited’ recently. I had a copy of ‘The Doctor Who Cookbook’ given to me by my parents over Christmas 2019. My Dad told me it was pretty pricey when he bought it for me. 😀 I enjoy cooking lasagnes from Sarah’s recipe in the book. I had a go cooking Patrick Troughton’s vegetable soup too. I haven’t tried ‘Kipper of Traken’ yet, though I’m not sure about the marinade recipe provided for it. I wish Sarah, Janet and Toby had a ‘this is what we made earlier’ version of the recipe to try it out and taste it. 😀

      Many thanks for your comments on my ‘Mutant Phase’ review.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    Having re-listened to ‘The Mutant Phase’, I just thought I’d update my thoughts on it.

    I had an absolute blast listening to the story. Nick Briggs have a very interesting take on the Daleks with their organic parts. It would have meant their destruction and possibly heavy altering of history. The Doctor and Nyssa were great to hear when confronting the Daleks especially since this was Nyssa’s first encounter with them. My favourite guest character was Mark Gatiss as Professor Karl Hendryk.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending either, not because it was confusing, but because it suggested that the events of the story never actually happened. I don’t however think that it ruined the story.

    I will share my full thoughts in my review of ‘The Mutant Phase’ on my blog. I’ll start listening to ‘Circular Time’ at some point this week. ‘Forty’ has been dispatched and should arrive soon. I’ll try and listen to that at the weekend.

    P.S. regarding ‘Red Dwarf’, it used to be on Britbox, but it has now been removed. You can buy the series on DVD/Blu-Ray.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Xavier/WF92,

      Thanks for your updated thoughts on ‘The Mutant Phase’. Glad you enjoyed the story again. I’m pleased you enjoyed Nick Briggs’ take on the Daleks; Peter Davison’s Doctor and Sarah Sutton’s Nyssa interacting with the Daleks; and interesting that Mark Gatiss as Professor Karl Hendryck is your favourite character in the story. Yeah, the story’s ending did ruin it somewhat, but I still love ‘The Mutant Phase’ and cherish it greatly. Hope you enjoy ‘Circular Time’. I’m looking forward to receiving my CD copy of ‘Forty’ in the post soon.

      Interesting that ‘Red Dwarf’ was on Britbox but now it’s come off. I wish some of these streaming sites kept their content on always for people to know where to look for them. I’m hoping I might see ‘Broadchurch’ sometime on Britbox as David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker are in it.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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