If you were a Big Finish collector back in December 2007, your main range release of Year of the Pig came with a free single-disc story, Return of the Daleks. If you (like me) are a latecomer, you’ve acquired early releases in random sales and may not have the free subscriber releases. So it is I have only just heard this Nick Briggs Seventh Doctor story.
A short but intriguing synopsis on the product page:
No one could ever know. We had to erase the past. Change everything. Start again.
But even though it’s been centuries now… in our hearts, none of us feels truly… safe. I think, even if our people were to survive until the end of time itself, we would still fear… the return of the Daleks
The story is set on the planet Zaleria, and is right in the middle of the Dalek Empire stories starring Sarah Mowat as Susan Mendes and Gareth Thomas as Kalendorf. Daleks have landed and despite her best efforts, Susan Mendes can’t stop them experimenting on the native Zalerians nor searching for something long since forgotten. In the midst of this the Doctor pops in and out to nudge Kalendorf towards his destiny. There’s a great reveal two-thirds through and plenty of action. For a single-disc it’s a full story.
The ending is pure Seventh Doctor with him taking the long-view and making sure the pieces played out their destiny. Enjoyable, if dark.
In style it’s far more Dalek Empire than Doctor Who and with the gap between them (Dalek Empire was 2001), hearing Gareth Thomas and Sarah Mowat back in part was a joy. A cynic might feel this was written by Nick as a plug for his Dalek Empire project; even if that was part of the motive (and the extras are a prolonged advert for the range) it’s a strong strong story and better than others. As a subscriber special release I can’t find any fault with this, and it is well worth buying in its own right.