The Dalek Gambit

Posted in Audio by - April 25, 2020
The Dalek Gambit

Released April 2020

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Continuing on from ‘The Movellan Manoeuvre,’ The Dalek Gambit’ by Roland Moore opens with the Counter-Measures team investigating the deaths of scientists who helped the Movellans. Realizing the androids’ eternal foes are behind the murders as casualties continue to mount, they and all of Earth find themselves in the middle of a desperate war with time in short supply.

First appearing in 1988’s ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ alongside the Seventh Doctor, the Counter-Measures team is certainly no stranger to confronting Daleks, and the iconic enemy’s reappearance here serves to bring the organization’s story full circle by emphasizing just how much this team and its characters have developed since that introduction. In a story centred around an epic confrontation, Moore never forgets to maintain the emotional core that his leads represent, and Group Captain Gilmore, Rachel, Allison, and Sir Toby each have ample time to reflect upon the dangers this chosen life has brought upon them and what may have been if another path had been chosen. Amidst the tension and uncertainty of battle and possible loss, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill, and Hugh Ross each manage to convey the weight and breadth of feelings that would naturally arise after so long spent beside the same people in such heightened circumstances, and the re-emergence of Carolyn Seymour’s Lady Suzanne Clare only further enhances that introspection when surrounded by such danger. Should this prove to be the final instalment of this franchise, it’s that profound depth of emotion with a heartfelt coda that will remain its biggest achievement as a celebration of this range and everyone involved.

Of course, it’s the continuing battle between the Daleks and Movellans that forms the crux of the plot, and unlike ‘The Movellan Manoeuvre’ that reveled in subverting expectations, ‘The Dalek Gambit’ follows a much more straightforward trajectory to allow that conflict to play out at a blistering pace with plenty of set action sequences. This is unquestionably one of the most visceral and visual stories this range has ever offered, and the thrill of seeing two classic foes entrenched in warfare with the entire Earth poised to fall victim to the Daleks’ bomb is perfectly realized and expertly bolstered through incredible music and sound design. Though the Daleks take centre stage in the title, both warring races have plenty of time to feature to showcase why each should always be taken as a more than credible threat, and Cyril Nri as Maurice Vallan and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks imbue incredible power to their roles that ensure the audience’s attention never wavers as the Counter-Measures team remains caught squarely in the middle.

‘The Dalek Gambit’ is unabashedly a story that needs to be listened to as the second part of ‘The Movellan Manoeuvre,’ but as a conclusion both to that story and possibly to this series as a whole it hits all of the right notes and sends its leads out on an emotional high. The ultimate solution may rely on convenience a bit too much as might be expected when two all-powerful races are present and humanity must emerge intact, but the journey as a whole is a beautiful celebration of Counter-Measures and of Doctor Who that will assuredly resonate with all of its listeners whether they be long-time fans or simply interested in another Dalek adventure.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.