The Mutant Phase
Audio / February 25, 2016

Released December 2000 ‘The Mutant Phase’ is the third story to pit the Daleks against the Doctor. Whereas ‘The Genocide Machine’ had the novelty of being the first and ‘The Apocalypse Element’ had the novelty of being set on Gallifrey, ‘The Mutant Phase’ has no such device to bolster excitement and so the story has to stand solely on its own merit as the Daleks this time face the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Unfortunately, despite many very positive attributes to the tale that make it quite enjoyable to listen to, there are quite a few noticeable flaws as well, some more debatable than others. The biggest issue with ‘The Mutant Phase’ is that it all comes down to a paradox, albeit not one necessarily consciously created. This is a common science fiction trope, and sometimes it can be effective in retrospect, but it becomes quite obvious early on that the plot is headed in this direction, giving a sense of nonchalant detachedness to the proceedings since they will ultimately be inconsequential. This is most egregious in the second episode when the Doctor and Nyssa arrive on Earth in the forty-third century and find the last stragglers of human civilization being…