(ISBN 1-84435-101-7)











 Separated from one

 another across space

 and time, the Doctor

 and Mel find

 themselves in very


 predicaments: Mel

 has been employed on

 Lethe, while the

 Doctor has been

 imprisoned aboard an

 alien spacecraft.

 Both situations are

 inexorably linked,

 however, and at the

 apex of the two sits

 Davros and the

 terrifying possibility

 of a new threat even

 more powerful than

 the Daleks! 


 Rescuing Mel and

 stopping Davros

 should be the

 Doctor's primary

 goals, but could it be

 that this time, Mel

 does not wish to be

 rescued? And might

 Davros actually be

 working on something

 for the benefit of the

 civilised galaxies?


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The Juggernauts








“The Juggernauts” is an audio play that will always be given far more stick than it deserves for two reasons. Firstly, it is the sequel to Lance Parkin’s magnificent “Davros,” a play that it really did not have a chance in hell of bettering in many fans’ eyes, including my own. Secondly, it suffers from “The Apocalypse Element” syndrome in that Big Finish decide to give the fans what they want – Daleks! Mechanoids! Davros! – only to be met with harsh feedback because the play does not pan out precisely as many fans would have wished.

Scott Alan Woodard’s play is not perfect, and quite frankly it is not as good as “Davros” was, but it is still a fantastic piece of audio drama, certainly one of the best stories Big Finish have released recently – just not the best ever, which it may have had the potential to be.


There is so much to enjoy about “The Juggernauts” that the four episodes really fly past. I am delighted to say that I have found another Doctor Who story featuring Melanie Bush that I do not feel that she ruins! The list is still very small - “The Fires of Vulcan” was very, very good, for example, but I would still rather have had even Adric stuck in there given the choice. Here, however, Mel is utilised by Woodard far better than she ever has been before by any writer, Gary Russell included. Marooned on the mining colony of Lethe for three months, she is forced to get a job and make friends – even develop romantic feelings for one unlucky colleague, Geoff (Klaus White). In fact, for the first two episodes of the story, before the Doctors’ arrival and the ‘big reveal’ (which is ambivalently mind-bogglingly obvious yet immensely satisfying), Mel carries the plot largely on her own and succeeds admirably. However, in the last two episodes Mel is not quite as impressive, bar one explosive scene towards the end. What annoyed me though is that her scenes with Geoff worked together really well in first two episodes, but there is no real pay off in the concluding parts of the

story. The relationship is not fully explored by the writer, as Mel herself admits he was

“nearly more than a friend,” – emphasis on nearly. The play’s conclusion would be far more emotional were Geoff and Mel to actually fall in love rather than just “nearly” do so.


© Big Finish Productions 2005. No copyright infringement is intended.


Terry Molloy versus Colin Baker is becoming something of a legendary line-up. “Revelation of the Daleks” was easily the sixth Doctor’s best outing on television, and “Davros” without doubt has been his best audio adventure, if not the best audio adventure of all. As usual, Molloy gives his all the role, and as in “Davros” is given a little more to work with than he was on television. Far from being a one-dimensional megalomaniac, Davros is a man tormented by failure, a prisoner of his own ambitions. I was particularly impressed with how Woodard depicted Davros as an enemy of the Daleks, someone hell bent on their destruction. His “final solution” to the Dalek problem is a lovely nod to the show’s past – the Mechanoids, or as Davros points out “…Juggernauts. The name is copyrighted!”


The Mechanoid voices sound exactly as they did almost forty years ago in “The Chase” and although they do not quite cut the mustard as terrifying threats on audio (they might look intimidating in a ‘Flash Gordon’ sort of way, but they just sound cute!), they serve their purpose well. The play culminates in a scene where an enraged Mel overrides Davros’ control of the Mechanoids and tells them that their creator is a threat to them and to do with him as they “see fit.” This one wonderful scene almost redeems the whole character of Melanie Bush – for her to do what she knows the Doctor cannot and have Davros killed in cold blood, for the greater good of the universe, knowing that it will be forever on her conscious is a masterstroke by the writer.


What is not a masterstroke though is the aftermath. Rather than see Davros beset by Mechanoids and hear no more from him, leaving it to our imaginations to wonder how he ends up a disembodied head in the ‘Emperor Dalek’ casing, we are confronted with a chairless, bleeding, and dying Davros armed with a self-destruct mechanism powerful enough to completely destroy the Lethe colony. The subsequent explosion is so massive

that it beggars belief that even Davros, the man who survived a nuclear attack, extermination by the Daleks; cryogenic imprisonment, and the Movellan virus could survive. What this does do, though, is create a satisfying ending to “The Juggernauts”; an ending much in-line with Davros’ other ‘deaths’ at the end of practically every other adventure, ironically excluding his final one on television, “Remembrance of the Daleks.”


It goes without saying that Baker is superb. He is out of the action for much of the play, and even whilst in the thick of things he is essentially acting as a renegade Dalek agent, but nevertheless he still manages to steal the show. I particularly liked how Woodard dwelled on the Doctor’s refusal to destroy the Dalek threat back in “Genesis of the Daleks” and also his backing out of killing Davros in “Resurrection of the Daleks.” Not only does this create some wonderful drama as Mel takes it upon herself to do what the Doctor cannot due to “consequences,” it also beautifully foreshadows the Doctor’s destruction of Skaro with the Hand of Omega in “Remembrance of the Daleks” - perhaps Mel got him thinking that “consequences” were not as important as removing the threat posed by Davros and the Daleks, playing on his conscious and eventually leading him to do something that he would later regret deeply…


All in all, “The Juggernauts” is a fantastic, first-rate adventure; yet another Big Finish play

that I cannot do anything but recommend.


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.

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