Corruption

Posted in Audio by - March 18, 2018
Corruption

Released November 2006

Now entrenched within the Science Elite, Davros has been pushing his team to continually expand their realms of research, access to Thal DNA opening up an entirely new field that reinvigorates his fascination with genetic mutations. With the Supremo declaring that any research not directly relating to weapons development is treason, however, he must learn to cope with betrayal and political manoeuverings in his devoted quest for power that will forever leave him changed.

It should be stated up front that, while ‘Corruption’ is easily the strongest serial of I, Davros yet and is perfectly capable as a standalone tale, it is also very much complementary to 2003’s Big Finish release ‘Davros,’ both of which are penned by Lance Parkin and deal with the same subject matter from differing perspectives. With the extra information from that earlier tale, Davros’s burgeoning relationship with and ultimate betrayal of Katarina Olsson’s Shan is much more profoundly nuanced, and the internal struggle Davros experiences once a Thal attack leaves him the choice of remaining completely confined to a life maintained by machinery or of suicide is a bit more developed. Nonetheless, Terry Molloy is exceptional throughout, and the subtle means by which he has learned to play one side off of another to achieve his means is well-realised once the Thals have determined that Davros himself is their single biggest threat. Indeed, the detachment and calm composure he maintains as he talks his mother to her death and exults in the science behind the event is perhaps the most powerful moment of this range yet, rivaled only by his next actions of deliberately infecting pregnant women to bring about the Kaleds’ ultimate genetically-identical mutation in the next generation.

‘Corruption’ wisely does not shy away from the transformative nature of the Thal attack that leaves Davros crippled as Calcula and Shan taunt him from beyond while he struggles to stay alive, and suddenly a man who still seemed hesitant to actually kill now sees life through an entirely new perspective in which the emotionless power of machinery is the only thing keeping him alive. With this new enlightenment about the superfluous and damning nature of emotions, it’s no surprise that he would choose to breed that aspect out of his creations who very much fill the role of children. For better or for worse, this puts Calcula’s sacrificial death that ensured her son’s work could continue unfettered in a world she believed had become too soft into an entirely new context that speaks to the legacy she wanted to leave behind her. While Davros in unquestionably the focus throughout, Carolyn Jones gives an immense performance that intricately weaves together the delicate balance she tries to maintain between family loyalty, personal gain, and Kaled supremacy, and her end is a fitting portent of what is yet to come on this new iteration of Skaro.

‘Corruption’ offers truly captivating insight into the motivations and thoughts of Davros as he finally comes to realise his ultimate fate and the opportunities afforded him even as others back away in fear from his personal appearance. With the Daleks an inevitability as the events shown in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ fast approach, the character development, political drama, and superb plot filled with striking clashes both physical and mental are immense, and Parkin has excelled himself and crafted an engaging and momentous tale that is crucial to so much continuity of Doctor Who and of Davros himself.

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