The quest to find something new to do with the Daleks continues, as Nicholas Briggs’ latest tale for the Fourth Doctor and Romana suggests that they might be prepared to work for the Conglomerate – a rather unusual turn of events which is bound to end in tears for someone.
It’s another four-part story which has some interesting mirrors with previously televised Who – the cliffhanger into next month’s finale riffs off one of the greater moments from the new series, while there are distinct echoes of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (which you have to guess is a Briggs favourite, given how often he’s referenced it).
As with last season’s Dalek story, Tom Baker appears to go a little further over the top when faced with the pepperpots than he does in most of the other episodes. It makes for a good contrast with Mary Tamm’s slightly perplexed Time Lady: the story carefully doesn’t contradict anything that happens in Destiny of the Daleks, and indeed may even explain some of the actions of Romana II in that tale.
And of course if the Conglomerate is involved, then David Warner and Toby Hadoke are back as Cuthbert and Mr Dorrick – I really hope nothing too serious happens to them in the finale, because they make a terrific team!
Verdict: The threads start to come together for Romana’s final story. 7/10