Roots: Waterloo. Jared mentions Command and Conquer. Flips mentions E.T., Abba's Waterloo, Boris Johnson and "Simon Shawama"
Dialogue Triumphs: The Daleks on the supermarket tannoy.
"Walk a mile in another man's shoes. I know now what it is to be Davros. To have the mind of a genius trapped inside what is, essentially, a corpse.. this is not life. Let me tell you, if I knew I was going to be trapped in this body permanently I would not be able to endure it as Davros does. The pain is too great, too constant. If there was a switch on this chair that would turn off this life support, bring an end to the agony - I would press that switch in an instant. I would not have the willpower to resist it."
Double Entendres: "Flip - what are you doing?" "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm getting off."
"They are disinclined to give up The Chase"
Continuity: Dalek ships have an electrostatic override. The Dalek Saucer escape capsule is coffin-shaped. The Daleks' subspace network is a primitive kind of telepathy. They have a mind exchange technology developed by Davros and the Dalek Emperor on the planet Teldoran. The upper half of a Dalek's casing is light enough for Flip to lift over Davros.
Davros admires Napoleon for his rational and brilliant military strategy, his genius for war, thirst for power, and ability to overcome superstition and obsession over trivial biological distinctions. Davros' brain scan almost resembles that of a Dalek. His life is pain. Davros' brain pattern remains even after his mind swap, and resembles that of "one of the dalek race". His override security code is Nine-helix-five, meta-zero-zero-loma-one. Davros and the Supreme Dalek tested their mind swap machine on colonists of the planet Telduran. Their colony leader, under the machine's duress, begged to be released and his daughter Tamora put in his place to have her mind swapped with a Dalek.
Jared has a friend called Dodgy Steve. His full name is Jared Raman. He was born in Plumstead. His duplicate's arm is a Dalek armpiece
Flip's full name is Philippa Jackson. She never passed her driving test. She took one first aid course and felt sick after that. Her school wouldn't let her sit the French GCSE exam. Her flat was at 51 Thamesmead Flats. Flip's mother's boyfriend is nicknamed "Creepy Nigel" Flip works as a till operator at FreshGood supermarkets (and sometimes on the cheese counter)
The Doctor detected the Daleks' presence in this time zone and, wishing to spy on them, sneaked aboard their mother ship, using its security system to create a 'ghost' duplicate of himself to distract the Daleks on board. He stole a Dalek saucer, but a warp missile destroyed its engine at the point of dimension jump. The Time Lord translation gift works even if the Doctor's brain isn't present.
Davros punishes the Supreme Dalek by ordering it to increase neurostimulation by ten for five seconds.
Story opens on a Saturday night, then through Sunday morning. One year has passed for Flip since The Crimes of Thomas Brewster.
Links: The Crimes of Thomas Brewster. The Doctor and Flip discuss Evelyn (he explains that she left him for Rossiter). An older version of the Duke of Wellington reappears in Other Lives, while the Third Doctor recalls meeting Bonaparte "Doctor!" "You were expecting someone else?" Jared mentions D.I. Menzies
The Bottom Line: There's something up from the very first appearance of the Doctor, but even if you spot it the ride to the end is just as enjoyable. An idea long overdue, but well-realised, The Curse of Davros is a master class in mimicry; it's difficult to tell who is the better actor in their respective roles - Baker or Molloy? In all, a great experiment, and a resounding success. Outside of this the plot is a little woolly, and Flip is yet to make her mark as a companion, now nearly two stories in; but driven by conceit alone this is a strong debut.
DAVROS IN TIME
The Curse of Davros marks one of four encounters between the Sixth Doctor and the creator of the Daleks, but it raises a couple of questions; the first question one might ask is, in which order do these meetings occur?
Davros is the earliest meeting between the two, preceding Revelation of the Daleks, and it's the immediate conclusion to this story, and its aftermath, which complicate things. Big Finish's Doctor-less Davros DVD Box-Set special The Davros Mission takes its story up immediately after Revelation, with the scientist having been captured by Renegade Daleks on Necros to stand trial on the Daleks' home planet (as indicated in Revelation). Mission concludes with Davros on Skaro, a truce having been established between the rival factions, and Davros himself invested as Emperor, as presumably encountered by the Seventh Doctor in Remembrance of the Daleks.
Between these two TV stories (and The Davros Mission) sit The Curse of Davros and The Juggernauts, though perhaps not necessarily in that order. While Big Finish have elected to place the former between Revelation and The Juggernauts, the latter story contains remarks by the Doctor that suggest that this story is their first meeting since Necros (though the planet itself is not mentioned, the impending trial is) and not The Curse of Davros. Davros is encountered by the Doctor and Mel, having crashed on the planet Lethe while in custody of Renegades. His Dalek 'skirt' on the CD cover is in white and gold Imperial livery (unlike that in Revelation, although one would imagine a repaint would be easy enough), although it explodes at the end of this story, and while on Lethe he has a new mechanical hand fashioned for him to replace the one shot in Revelation.
On the other hand, Curse sees a more traditional in form Davros being addressed as 'Emperor'. Going by the CD cover again he is apparently in the company of Imperial Daleks (as he is in Remembrance) and is addressed as 'Emperor' but is recognisably Davros in appearance, unlike his almost-spherical body casing in the Seventh Doctor story. The Doctor, occupying Davros' body after a mind-swap, is even able to disguise himself as a Dalek by using the top half of a Dalek casing atop his skirt - a feat he would not be able to achieve with his black and silver Necros/Mission lower half, nor his broader Remembrance casing.
In short, The Juggernauts does not easily accommodate The Curse of Davros as a predecessor - ostensibly there are five years between the stories production-wise, but The Davros Mission also complicates things. How then should the stories be ordered?
One solution may be the time-travelling aspects of both the Doctor and Davros' activities. While we can easily draw a straight line between Davros, Revelation and The Davros Mission, the next meeting between Davros and the Doctor may not necessarily be the next meeting as either of them experience it. In other words, Curse could reasonably take place between Revelation and The Juggernauts for the Doctor, but take place after The Juggernauts in Davros' timeline. In this instance, we have to assume that the Doctor may be for some reason bluffing regarding the details of their most recent meeting in The Juggernauts (these lines are, admittedly, already open to interpretation), or has lost his memory of the event for some other reason. The alternative, that Curse is indeed Davros' third meeting with the Doctor and that it is the scientist fudging the facts in The Juggernauts, requires also that Flip's adventures with the Doctor must take place between the conclusion of The Trial of a Time Lord and The Juggernauts - in other words, it forces the issue of the Doctor dropping Mel off at the end of his Trial in order to meet her again sequentially at a later date. With one twist in time being more than enough, we defer to Big Finish's story placement and suggest that while it fits for the Doctor, Davros is post-Juggernauts and none the wiser.