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Dalek Empire I: Invasion of the Daleks

CD audio adventure released June 2001

Written and Directed by Nicholas Briggs

Roots: Casablanca, Star Wars (Alby's Drudger pilot recalls R2-D2's function at the movie's end), Babylon 5 (Earth Alliance Repulse Class Battlecrusier). The name 'Kalendorf' comes from Agatha Christie's Spider's Web.

Intertextuality: The Daleks travel in space individually on Trans-solar discs, originated in the 1964 Dalek Book (and later appeared in the TV21 comics).

Goofs: Vega VI is rendered radioactive, yet no medicine is given to the population, just food and rest eventually, although they survive [anti-radiation medicine is put in their food].

Double Entendres: 'Lifeforms, beware. The Invasion of the Daleks has begun.'

'Who's attacking you. Who is it.' [It's funny 'cos Who's not in it.]

Dialogue Triumphs: 'I wouldn't waste half a drop of Brandy on a Dalek, but a woman's worth a whole bottle of Southern Comfort. Maybe even two.'

'That's all you do isn't it? Kill, kill, kill.'

'You want us to show 'pity'.'

Continuity The Vega system has at least six planets and is home to the Vega Free News service, a channel set up after the Dalek invasion. Vega VI is a planet with marshlands and rich in veganite, a volatile substance. One sun (there is more than one) is Vega Prime.

Susan 'Suz' Mendes is a geologist working for the Reinsberg Institute, a multi-world corporation interested in the veganite. Her parents live on Vega VI, and her (presumably late) grandmother used to make and send her pickled onions from Earth. Like many of her generation, she has only vaguely heard of Daleks and has never encountered one before.

Albert 'Alby' Brook appears to be, an ordinary water-taxi driver, but is actually an Earth Alliance Space Security Service operative, working undercover to find Kalendorf on Vega VI. He drinks Southern Comfort (nobody's perfect) and values it highly (a woman is worth more than a bottle of it - maybe two, apparently). Kalendorf is an agent of the Knights of Velyshaa [according to the CD jacket blurb: 'trained since birth in all noble and martial arts of the Velyshaan Imperial Court']. His telepathy relies on touch to be transmitted (he has to hold Suz to communicate with her).

Gordon Pellan is a newsreader for Vega Free News, broadcasting anti-Dalek propaganda on radio frequencies below the Daleks' normal high definition holographic communication.

Earth is a 'mess', although the 'Earth Run' is still a viable tourism venture, enabling humans to visit "the birthplace of the species". Admiral Cheviat of the Earth Alliance is stationed on the flagship Intrepid. Alby's scout ship has front and rear guns and a Drudger pilot. Drudgers are programmed for independent thought.

Dalek Control and the Dalek Emperor are based in the Seriphia galaxy (see: Links). The Dalek Supreme and Emperor are both privy to information retrieved from their failed seizure of the Kar-Charrat Library (see: Links), which gives them special insight into the human species. This information has not been shared among other Daleks. Daleks routinely enslave planetary populations, robotizing superior individuals in factories in which circuitry is grafted to their bodies, as well as extracting their genetic material for their gene banks (see: Links). They mine planets by drilling vast shafts into their crust and dispatching mining machinery (but not on Vega VI, as the veganite is too volatile to allow machinery).

The cruise ship Aquitania passes the L'garshoo Nebula. Time is measured between planets in solar days.

Location: The Vega system, 'centuries' after the Earth war with the Knights of Velyshaa (and the last Dalek war), 4162 (see below)

Links: 'The Sirens of Time' (the Knights of Velyshaa), 'The Genocide Machine' (the Kar-Charrat Library), 'The Apocalypse Element' (the Daleks based in Seriphia galaxy, plus the Apocalypse Element itself).

The Bottom Line: 'I remember what it was like, before the Daleks came...'

Considering the amount of set-up necessary, this is a good start, with the humans on the back foot from the very beginning and all hope scattered throughout the galaxy. Clearly it will be a long haul, and though the alleged romance between Alby and Suz is at best tenuous, it's merely something that has to be accepted at face value as much as the space opera elements elsewhere. Reliably, Big Finish assemble a fine cast with good performances here, especially Gareth Thomas as a less than Doctorish Kalendorf.

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