The Davros Mission

Posted in Audio by - March 19, 2018
The Davros Mission

Released January 2012

NOTE: ‘The Davros Mission’ is not a continuation of the I, Davros saga, but the Big Finish website has filed it under that range and so this site will follow suit.

Originally released as a part of the celebratory The Complete Davros Collection DVD set in November 2007 that collected every television serial and audio adventure featuring the notorious creator of the Daleks and in the process proved how much character work and development Big Finish has done with Davros to make him a truly nuanced and layered character, ‘The Davros Mission’ by Nicholas Briggs arrives as another intriguing take on what happened to Davros after the events of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ following Big Finish’s earlier 2005 release ‘The Juggernauts.’

Picking up on the weighty discussion with the Doctor regarding use of a deadly virus to wipe out all life if one had the opportunity in ‘Genesis of the Daleks,’ writer Nicholas Briggs actually gives Davros that capability in ‘The Davros Mission,’ bringing to the forefront the obvious insanity the character has developed in the Big Finish medium but tempering it with his single-minded dedication to once more become the Daleks’ undisputed leader. The relationship between creator and creations has always been a tenuous one at best as the Daleks’ own arrogance and quest for superiority superseded even Davros’s, and this is wonderfully realised as Davros sits alone in a cell after capture on Necros while awaiting Dalek judgment, stewing over his circumstances as his creations pay him no heed. With a new robotic hand, Davros is becoming ever more like the Daleks, but they pass off his proclamations that he shall become their supreme leader once more as simple delusions of grandeur.

Indeed, ‘The Davros Mission’ features Davros wondering on several occasions if perhaps he has finally lost his mind and intelligence, his two most treasured possessions, and the fact that he sees his ego as his reason for survival rather than the ultimate reason for his downfall given that the Daleks are the ultimate accumulation of all of his faults is quite telling. Even more fascinating, however, is the discussion between Davros and Miranda Raison’s Thal Lareen, a figure who suggests that the Daleks do not have the right to put Davros on trial since he has done them no wrong, unlike the terrible atrocities Davros has committed against the Thal people. With special armour that renders her invisible to Dalek scans and sensors, Lareen acts as a captivating voice of reason and potential that only Davros can hear, and with the Thal genius now turned to genocidal purpose against the Daleks, Lareen represents both freedom and death for Davros as she reveals the Movellan virus that could destroy everything. Their scenes together are immensely effective and anything but predictable, but the long-awaited meeting of Davros and a Thal after everything they have been through more than lives up to its potential.

Unfortunately, the inclusion of the immensely irritating mollusc-like Grallians Gus and Raz completely detracts from the stimulating drama on display. In a minor capacity, this would have been an easy facet of the story to overlook, but because their physiology makes them so well-suited for roles as Dalek slaves, they are very prominent figures throughout the story, and the sarcastic comic relief they offer is strangely out of place given how weighty and consequential the drama otherwise on display is. Fortunately, Terry Molloy gives an immensely nuanced performance that reveals just how much power Davros retains even when held captive and toys with the notion of him becoming a force for good alongside the Thals, his words alone nearly enough to sway a Dalek to his side before the virus finally gives him the means to stake a meaningful claim as emperor as the Dalek civil war escalates. As written, ‘The Davros Mission’ could have been twenty minutes or so shorter without the Grallians and not lost any dramatic effect, but the ever-fluctuating relationship between Davros both to himself and to his Daleks with Lareen furtively speaking in his ear makes for another grand piece in the Davros backstory puzzle.

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