“We Are the Daleks” marks the beginning of a new era for Big Finish, which has released over 200 audio dramas and now seeks to provide a fresh entry point for new listeners. Each Doctor will lead a new trilogy of stories, starting with the Seventh Doctor and Mel.
Set in 1987, the UK is a divided nation with striking workers in Bradford and wealthy stockbrokers in the City of London. Alek Zenos, the enigmatic head of the Zenos Corporation, offers an economic miracle to Britain, which proves too tempting for politicians and investors alike. While the Doctor investigates the Warfleet computer game craze, Mel goes undercover to uncover the truth about Zenos’s partners.
The Daleks have a new plan to conquer the universe: economic power through the free market. This old-school Dalek story pays homage to previous Dalek tales of the era while satirizing Thatcherism and the “greed is good” campaign.
McCoy excels as the Seventh Doctor, my personal favourite from the classic era. His final speech to the Daleks is chilling and on par with Matt Smith’s speech in “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang.”
Big Finish excels at giving characters a second chance, as seen with Bonnie Langford’s Mel. Underserved on TV, Mel was originally intended to be played as Violet Elizabeth Bot. Big Finish has unlocked Mel’s full potential, turning her into the companion she should have been on screen.
This multi-layered story explores themes of ambition, greed, and exclusion, even taking a jab at Michael Fish. “We Are the Daleks” is an excellent start to Big Finish’s new era.