‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Daleks and Winter with the First Doctor, Vicki and Steven

Yeah! This was a very good Dalek ‘Doctor Who’ story!

After enjoying ‘Daughter of the Gods’ so much, it was only fair that I check out the other ‘Doctor Who’ story by David K Barnes that’s received high praise. That is of course ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’! I purchased this audio story on CD as part of the ‘Doctor Who Returns’ sale from Big Finish.

This was to tie in to Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’ in early 2020. I’ve heard good things about ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’; even from Timelord007 would you believe? 😀 I wondered why this story was so popular and highly rated by ‘Doctor Who’ fans that were into the Big Finish audios at this stage. 🙂

After listening to this exciting four-part adventure, I could see why. It’s a very well-written and well-paced audio adventure featuring the First Doctor with Vicki and Steven against the Daleks. It’s not as good as ‘Daughter of the Gods’, but there’s amazing tension, drama and twists featured throughout.

The story has the TARDIS land on an unknown planet. The Doctor, Vicki and Steven step out to explore the planet as they stroll through the city of Winter. The planet has an endless winter since it’s always snowing. The Doctor and his friends join in the celebrations of some graduated candidates.

This is at some scientific research centre where ‘the chosen few’ are dedicated to continual service for the community. It seems to be a peaceful haven in the city of Winter. But it’s all too good to be true when a Dalek appears and the Doctor, Vicki and Steven learn that Winter is controlled by the Daleks.

‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’ does feel like a good thumping Dalek story from the First Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’. And it is! But it has some exciting elements that make it more interesting, especially with the people of Winter building Daleks in factories. This, for me, is a cool and scary concept.

There are also revelations that you don’t expect with certain characters that feature in this story. Some characters who might seem to be decent, well-meaning people are actually selfish and power-crazed. This fits in well for the story’s conclusion in how the future for Winter is set up afterwards. 😀

There’s a good sense of a cold atmosphere featured throughout this story. And that’s not just to do with the snowy and endless winter featured in the story, though that helps. There’s also the coldness of some of the characters, especially in how they behave when Daleks trundle about them.

Sara Powell, Nicholas Briggs, Maureen O’Brien, Robert Daws and Peter Purves in ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’.

This four-part adventure stars Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves. Maureen played Vicki in the TV series whilst Peter played Steven. It was fun to hear these two together in this ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure and they clearly enjoyed the script given to them and found it pretty well-written indeed.

Maureen O’Brien plays Vicki but also does half of the narration of the story. I’ve heard Maureen narrate a number of ‘Doctor Who’ audiobooks including ‘The Companion Chronicles’ as well as Target audiobooks such as ‘The Chase’, which I’m currently listening to as I’m writing this review. 🙂

I also find Maureen very good as Vicki. She easily slips back into the younger Vicki she used to play in the TV series. It was intriguing to hear how she spends a lot of time with the Doctor whilst Steven’s separated from them. She also gets betrayed by the city’s ruler and almost faces death by Daleks. 😮

Peter Purves plays Steven; does half of the story’s narration and plays the Doctor too. I’ve said this before but I really like Peter’s voice interpretation for William Hartnell’s Doctor in anything ‘Doctor Who’ audio-related. He sounds authentic as Bill Hartnell’s Doctor as he convinces me he’s in the room.

It was intriguing to hear how the Doctor copes with the situation of the Daleks being in the city of Winter and controlling its people. It was also intriguing to hear how Steven copes with working in a Dalek factory and getting to defy one Dalek as he challenges it to say “Exterminate!” when it’s unable to.

This story features special guest star Robert Daws as Gaius Majorian, who is the leader of the city of Winter – first Marshall and later Grand Marshall by the story’s end. I was thrilled to hear Robert Daws in this audio story. For me, he played Tuppy Glossop in all four seasons of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’.

In this adventure, Majorian is a ruler with delusions of grandeur. There are times when he can be charming and accommodating, but he can also be shifty and deceiving, especially when he betrays Vicki to the Daleks. He’s convinced that the peace between his people and the Daleks is a good one.

The Daleks are once again voiced by Nicholas Briggs in this adventure. It’s intriguing that the Daleks don’t recognise the Doctor here. Presumably this is a Dalek occupation on a planet before the Daleks learn about the Doctor in ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ and ‘The Chase’. Still evil and menacing here!

I enjoy the layers Nick Briggs gives to the Dalek voices in audio, especially when Steven, Vicki and the Doctor interact with them. David K Barnes writes well for the Daleks and doesn’t make them too robot-like. He even makes them menacing as living creatures as a Dalek mutant attacks a guest character!

The guest cast also includes Sara Powell as Jacklyn Karna, the security chief within the city of Winter. Like Majorian, she has delusions of grandeur. She’s more menacing than Majorian and isn’t a very nice person when threatening the Doctor and others’ lives as well as killing Majorian by the climax. 😮

Matthew Jacobs-Morgan and Shvorne Marks in ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’.

There’s also Shvorne Marks as Arnala Vost, a worker in the Dalek factories that actually builds Daleks. Arnala befriends Steven once he’s separated from the Doctor. She gets him a job to work at the Dalek factory but doesn’t realise that the Daleks are actually creatures inside their robot casings.

And there’s Matthew Jacobs-Morgan as Kenrik Vost, Arnala’s brother, who’s one of ‘the chosen’ few to work for the Daleks higher up at the scientific research centre. He meets up with Vicki who helps him put young Dalek mutants into their metal casings before one mutant attacks him in the process.

It’s intriguing how the story ended when hell breaks loose and the people of Winter are rebelling against the Daleks. Gaius Majorian threatens the Doctor to leave as he; Vicki and Steven depart in the TARDIS. Once they’re gone, Majorian, thinking he’s in charge again, gets shot by the Daleks here.

Oh and Karna takes over, being fiercely loyal to the Daleks throughout this adventure. The way it’s presented in this adventure is so unexpected. It’s intriguing how a First Doctor adventure ends like that where the Daleks are still in control of the city of Winter and causing trouble with Karna in charge.

Matthew Jacobs-Morgan, Peter Purves, Maureen O’Brien and Shvorne Marks in ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’.

I’ve enjoyed ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’! I can see why it’s rated highly! It’s very character-driven and features great performances by Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves as the Doctor, Vicki and Steven. It’s also a great tale featuring the Daleks with a surprising twist that I didn’t see coming.

The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a track of incidental music to enjoy. On Disc 2, there’s a trailer for ‘An Ideal World’ with Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Maureen O’Brien, Peter Purves, Nicholas Briggs, writer David K Barnes and director Lisa Bowerman. I’m saddened Robert Daws wasn’t interviewed.

‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’ rating – 9/10

The previous story

For the First Doctor was

  • ‘Fields of Terror’ (Audio)

For Vicki was

  • ‘Fields of Terror’ (Audio)

For Steven was

  • ‘Fields of Terror’ (Audio)

For the Daleks was

  • ‘Legacy of the Daleks’ (Book)
The next story

For the First Doctor is

  • ‘An Ideal World’ (Audio)

For Vicki is

  • ‘An Ideal World’ (Audio)

For Steven is

  • ‘An Ideal World’ (Audio)

For the Daleks is

Return to The First Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Vicki’s Timeline
Return to Steven’s Timeline
Return to The Daleks’ Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to The Monsters’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

2 thoughts on “‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Superb review Mr Bradley, as you mentioned i thoroughly enjoyed this audio drama, i like to be surpised & the twist was a good one, the Doctor’s “you reap what you sow” line foreshadowed Majorian demise & shows he was just a small cog in the Daleks bigger endgame.

    Tense, exciting, suspenseful, well performed by the cast & features a clever twist, definitely one of Big Finishes best Dalek stories & a far darker story for the First Doctor’s era.

    I really hope we get a sequel to this adventure in the near future it would be interesting to see what became of Winter & it’s inhabitants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter’.

      I was surprised by how the story ended, especially when it turned out the Daleks weren’t quite defeated and Majorian had been back-stabbed in the end. I’m glad you enjoyed the twist when it came to the story’s end and that you liked the Doctor’s line of “You reap what you sow.”

      Yeah it was quite a dark story for the First Doctor era. Not too dark mind, but still enjoyable, tense and full of gripping character drama especially with the Doctor, Vicki and Steven as well as the rest.

      That would be intriguing to see: a sequel. I wonder if it’ll happen. It’ll be nice if it did.

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂



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