Purity

Posted in Audio by - March 18, 2018
Purity

Released October 2006

After an intimate look at the circumstances that allowed Davros to first explore his darker inclinations without regard for morality, ‘Purity’ by James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown flashes forward to Davros at age thirty as he tries to get out of the Kaled military and into the Scientific Corps to create new ways for his race to survive the endless war with the Thals and emerge victorious. Tasked with a secret mission into Thal territory first, however, he soon learns of technology he could only dream of and that the feared Wastelands he must traverse twice may just be more dangerous yet.

Rory Jennings made an instant impact as the very young Davros in ‘Innocence,’ but Terry Molloy easily conquers the task of bringing to life this more mature but equally-detached man who struggles to follow his amoral and obsessive desires despite external influences pulling him in different directions. His propensity for mathematics and science has been wasted in his current position, and the government refuses to recognise his technical prowess despite his superior redesigns, but he instantly recognises the possibilities of an intelligent mechanical brain stemming from the science behind the Thal rocket while also recognising the potential for the Varga plants as a weapon after they attack and transform the troops into monstrous hybrids. Davros once more proves that he is utterly determined in his curious vision and is always looking at new ways to achieve it, and while confronting possible betrayal, his single-minded determination to achieve and succeed no matter the cost becomes all too apparent as he assumes unofficial command and puts science far ahead of the sanctity of life while grappling with the question of why anyone would ever willingly ask to die.

‘Purity’ also wisely remembers to continue to flesh out the political and familial life of Davros back home as well, and Davros’s unwillingness to marry to nullify complex clauses in his father’s will and release his finances proves to be the newest point of consternation between Lady Calcula and the son she so unerringly continues to support. As the war drags on and personal circumstances and ideals continue to shift as even the purity of the Kaled race is called into question when a blasphemous tapestry from long ago is uncovered, even his peace activist sister Yarvell has found herself affected, selling out Davros to the Thals knowing full well that he will not be spared. Regardless of the war dragging on around them, this entire family has proven itself to be wholly unscrupulous, and it’s all too easy to see how those familial tendencies carry on in Davros when Calcula reveals the truth about the betrayal and he decides to splice together his sister’s DNA rather than to allow the opportunity for experimentation to pass him by.

Still, ‘Purity’ overall is a much more straightforward affair than the preceding serial, and the immense characterisation of Davros supported by truly memorable moments just isn’t as prevalent here. Indeed, while the plot and performances are perfectly serviceable, there is simply too much uncomplicated dialogue throughout that makes it seem like the story is simply trying to touch upon a list of subjects without necessarily weaving them together into a cohesive whole, and the linear fashion in which he discovers the components that will prove so vital to his Daleks- an artificial intelligence, a mutated creature, and an all-consuming hatred- is effective but hardly the most natural. It’s clear that there is still plenty of potential for this limited series as a frustrated, obsessive, but as-yet idealistic Davros slowly becomes the man the universe will soon know and fear, but the nonetheless enjoyable ‘Purity’ is more of a necessary stepping stone than a gripping piece of formative drama.

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