(ISBN 1-903654-01-7)






 AN expedition

 disappeared on the

 planetoid Etra Prime,

 including the newly


 President of

 Gallifrey, one Lady

 Romana. Some time

 later, many of their

 dead bodies

 materialised on the

 planet Archetryx.


 Today, Archetryx

 hosts a delagation

 from the many

 planets who have

 time travel


 including the Monan

 Host and  Gallifrey. 

 However, as the

 Doctor finds Himself

 drawn to Archetryx,

 it becomes evident

 Etra Prime is being

 used as a weapon to

 destroy Archetryx.

 But why?


 And just why does the

 incumbant President

 of the High Council of

 the Time Lords allow

 a Dalek Task Force to

 land on Gallifrey?


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT

                                                                          NEXT (DALEK EMPIRE)


The Apocalypse Element

august 2000







I found Big Finish’s much maligned eleventh release, dismissed by many as a steaming great pile of fanwank, really quite good; in fact I would go so far as to use the word ‘epic’. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. “The Apocalypse Element” is a massive, sweeping, cinematic affair… on audio. The result is a brilliant and bold story that assaults the aural nerves and makes the listener’s brain bleed.


Stephen Cole’s story is a sequel of sorts to “The Genocide Machine,” but only from the point of view of the Daleks - Big Finish even subtitled it “Dalek Empire – Part Two.” The reason

for the Daleks’ invasion of the library in “The Genocide Machine” - which, thanks to the beauties of Time Travel, has not yet happened from the Doctor’s perspective – becomes clear as the Daleks sought knowledge of the ‘Apocalypse Element’ which in this story they use to “set the universe alight," destroying an entire galaxy before the Doctor and Romana can stop its path of destruction. The Daleks, at their Machiavellian best, plan to invade this destroyed, empty galaxy and use it as a base for a new Dalek Empire – a base from which they can start to systematically conquer the entire universe.


The story is ambitious in the same way as “Logopolis” in that the entire universe is at stake. As the Doctor puts it himself, “…more than you could possibly comprehend…” Colin Baker is at his pragmatic best, and the Daleks are finally living up to all their nasty potential.


However, the story also succeeds on the personal level – Lalla Ward puts in a brilliant performance as Romana, taken shortly after her inauguration as President of the Time Lords and held prisoner by the Daleks for over twenty years. Suffice it to say she is not the same Romana the Doctor left behind in E-Space all that time ago, she is not even the impressive Time Lord President of the New Adventures… yet. This no doubt got under a lot of people's skin, but frankly if after twenty years in a Dalek prison Romana was still the bubbly, witty, know-it-all that we all knew and loved (and probably fancied) it would be a bit far-fetched, even for Doctor Who!


Of course, the story is notoriously full of many ‘fan friendly’ notions, ironically the cause for so much of its loathing from fandom. And here's me thinking that fanwank is named as such because fans are supposed to like it!


The ideas themselves are fantastic; we have Daleks existing independently of their travel machine, their invasion of Gallifrey, and even Romana’s return to the show. The main problem is that there is too much going on for a four-part audio adventure; were this a television story it would have easily been a six-parter, that is if it could even have been made at all on the show’s budget, something I seriously doubt as there are scenes with more than three Daleks together at any one time. There are other problems too – Evelyn is awful. Surrounded by death and destruction she maintains her cheery, ‘chocolate-cake for all’ personality which is so far out of place that it hurts, and as I mentioned earlier, this play should only be listened to within reach of some painkillers. 'Very loud' just does not do it justice.


It is loud, it is large and although some of the ambitious plot is somewhat lacking (the ‘Trojan Horse’ of a Monan Timeship springs to mind), one thing this story certainly does not lack is action.


A must.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.

Doctor Who is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.