For this set of connected tales I consider the so-called Dalek Empire Quartet of early Big Finish audios (Genocide Machine, Apocalypse Element, Mutant Phase and Time of the Daleks) and in particular do they work as a together or not? This is not, then, a review as such of each of the stories, more a treatment of them as a sequence. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of listening to the separate Dalek Empire stories so have made some inferences that others may wish to correct for me.
Thanks for your attention!
The Structure of the Quartet
We have four tales that are the first four Dalek stories in the main range. Intriguingly (if the publishing order is meant to mean anything for a show about time travel!) they go backwards down the Doctor’s timeline in that we get Seventh, then Sixth, then Fifth. Paul McGann wasn’t on-board at the start of the Big Finish releases so we then end up with the Eighth at the end.
These are also all penned by different authors, with Nick ‘Voice of the Daleks’ Briggs writing only Mutant Phase and that in itself is a re-used AudioVisuals tale. This is more of a surprise given how Big Finish were at this time launching their Dalek Empire separate series a project I believe to be almost wholly driven by Nick (and one which I must get at some point!).
Taking the Long View
In some respects the Daleks show a greater attunement to time than most species. Being unemotional they will quite happily set in a spot for decades / centuries / millennia [see Plague of the Daleks] knowing that they might encounter the Doctor. Genocide Machine is a good example of this, though Apocalypse Element also shows their ability to plan and execute over substantial time-scales.
Increasing Mastery of Time
This is also very much a theme; in Mutant Phase they need the Doctor as their ability with time corridors hasn’t the reach of the TARDIS. In Time of the Daleks we have a plot all about becoming ‘Masters of Time’.
War with Gallifrey
We know now (from our post RTD re-launched Doctor Who on TV perspective) that there will be a Time War between Daleks and Time Lords. This (has others have pointed out) is very much the sense you get when listening to Apocalypse Element focussing as it does on the Eta Prime Incident which may be regarded as an opening skirmish.
Are they a set of Connected Tales?
I think I would have to say loosely connected though Time of the Daleks does call out directly to Apocalypse Element and Genocide Machine. I believe though that Apocalypse Element is the key story. I understand also that if one listens to the separate Dalek Empire releases more of the ideas of these four stories are re-used.
And if nothing else we like a nice Dalek tale!