One of Big Finish’s “high concept” audios, The Curse of Davros relies on certain conceits that you really don’t want spoiled before you hear it. Terry Molloy has described thinking the script was rubbish until he reached the end of episode two, and there’s quite a bit of justification for that opinion: it certainly feels like a throwback to the callous Doctor that we saw in Colin Baker’s earliest stories, rather than the more rounded personality that Big Finish have developed so well over the years.
However once you guess what’s going on (and for the record, I worked it out about ten minutes into the first episode), it makes for a very intriguing story, and as is usual in the Big Finish Davros tales, a lacuna in the broadcast stories is dealt with – although it creates its own problems for the confrontation between McCoy’s Doctor and Davros at the climax of Remembrance of the Daleks, given the information the Doctor should now possess as a result of this story.
Lisa Greenwood is a breath of fresh air as Flip, bouncing well off both Colin Baker and Terry Molloy, each of whom has his own challenges to face in this story. The Napoleonic Wars sections work well, with Flip’s friend Jarrod caught between the two sides, and the Time Lord gift for translation very definitely being a liability on this occasion rather than an asset. Both Wellington and Napoleon are treated seriously, although Lance Parkin will have fun reconciling this story with Terrance Dicks’s Players sequence of novels for the BBC Past Doctors range!
Verdict: A fun start to the latest Sixth Doctor trilogy, and a welcome return for Terry Molloy. 7/10