Scream of the Daleks

Posted in Audio by - November 11, 2022
Scream of the Daleks

Released November 2022


When a menacing scream interrupts their discussions about where their next destination should be, the Doctor, Harry, and Naomi follow its source to Chester’s Shockstock on Halloween of 1969 in Lisa McMullin’s ‘Scream of the Daleks.’ People have been dying on the same spot for millennia, and brutal nightmares and the Doctor’s oldest enemies are inexorably linked.

Relying quite heavily on the TARDIS, ‘Scream of the Daleks’ sees the Doctor and Naomi traversing Halloweens throughout the ages to piece together just why so many deaths have occurred on this particular day at this particular location. The snapshots afforded are quite brief and don’t necessarily add to the plot except in accentuating just how long this mystery has been unfolding without the Doctor noticing, but the darker origins and traditions of the fun and costume-laden affair Halloween often is in the present are nonetheless a very visual and evocative addition to the script despite its release coming just after Halloween.

By splitting the Doctor and Naomi from Harry after inadvertently leaving him at the festival, McMullin is able to bring Naomi to the fore much more than the preceding ‘London Orbital,’ allowing her wit and intelligence to shine as Eleanor Crooks again gives an engaging performance. She likewise has developed a strong chemistry with Sylvester McCoy already, lending credence to the fact that she has traveled with the Fourth Doctor previously despite those adventures not yet being released and that she can tap into that established relationship with a sort of shorthand despite the obvious differences between incarnations. Similarly, it’s clear that McMullin has a firm grasp on the enigmatic Seventh Doctor, and McCoy expertly flits between levity and darkness as his Doctor comes to understand the truth behind the bodies in the forest and the nightmares that have been stalking individuals for centuries. The Dalek plan does miss a beat when considering that the psychic projections comprising their remaining power could be composed of objects far scarier than traditional fare such as sharks, but although some of the Dalek dialogue is a bit clunky at the beginning despite retroactively making more sense by story’s end, their scheme and longstanding plan to get the Doctor’s attention are nonetheless brilliant in scope and execution.

Meanwhile, Harry again proves himself to be resourceful and determined as he tries his best to avoid any casualties, stating that even one person killed by hatred is too many. Christopher Naylor adeptly leads a very visual plotline befitting of Halloween that highlights the very best of his character, although the sibling pair he joins ultimately does little to enhance the plot and more or less serves only as a device to allow Harry to vocalize his thoughts and emotions. Cameron Percival and Carly Day are perfectly suitable and likable in their roles, but Cavan and Gilly are hardly the most developed or integral characters, a factor that- like just how incredibly quickly the Daleks’ scheme is foiled- may be down to the shorter two-part structure allotted this story. Nicholas Briggs is, of course, brilliant as the Daleks throughout this story, but for the resolution to truly resonate it requires the Doctor to put more time and effort into making his plan come to fruition than what is ultimately shown or even hinted at here. The conclusion is nonetheless serviceable and certainly wraps up the entire affair neatly, but it’s too easy and leaves little impact or sense of import, creating a feeling that either the story should have been extended to a third part or that Harry’s plot somehow needed to be condensed or else better integrated with that of the Doctor and Naomi. Still, ‘Scream of the Daleks’ features incredible lead performances and makes the most of its haunted atmosphere throughout the ages thanks to immense visuals and sound design, helping to create an undeniably memorable outing for this unique TARDIS trio.

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.