It marked the first appearance in an audio story of Davros, played by Terry Molloy. This story was among the ones advertised in Davros with Big Finish.
Davros has been given the chance to redeem himself.
Humanity stands on the verge of a new era, but it needs the help of the galaxy's greatest ever scientist. But Davros is dead... isn't he?
From the bunkers and shelters of ancient Skaro to the gleaming domes of the future Earth Empire, Davros has always been a man of destiny. Now he's working for mankind's benefit. But how much do we really know about Davros?
Has Davros really turned over a new leaf? The Doctor certainly doesn't think so. But is the Doctor always right?
"When I press this switch, I will die. The poison in that projectile injector will kill me in a moment." Davros is about to die, forced to carry out his own execution. He, however, refuses to press the switch to do the deed, intending to create "the supreme power in the universe". "This is not the end; this is only the beginning..."
Meanwhile, Davros' body is found by Arnold and Lorraine Baynes. They steal the corpse with the chair, shooting their pilot in Davros' place to trick the patrols. The advanced medical equipment available to them on the ship confirm that the Kaled is dead. They shouldn't give up, though; Lorraine decides to bring him "back home", where even better equipment can be found. All hope is not lost yet.
Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor arrives, having been called by a journalist named Willis. He and Kimberly Todd explain to the Doctor that TransAllied, Inc. — TAI — are planning to shut down every mining colony, a plan which would render 12 billion people out of jobs, devastating planets for generations. Kim works for the company's computer section, and has found secret files. All the mines are profitable... so why are TIA closing them down?
Against all evidence, Davros is alive. He recalls past events in his life: the Kaled Supreme informs Davros of the council of Elites' decision that he must die for his deeds. None of them, though, can do it — "If Davros is to die, it must be by his own hand." The Supreme hands him a projectile poison injector.
A spaceship suddenly appears overhead, and the Doctor and company use this opportunity to escape into the TAI dome. Baynes — revealed to be the chief executive of TAI — and his wife exit the ship, and bring Davros with them. Davros, meanwhile, is still dreaming of his past. His larynx was damaged in an attack, and was replaced with a voice box. His skin is badly burnt; even the most powerful sedatives can't help with the pain. Davros demands to see his face, and cries in terror and despair at the sight of it.
Outside, the Doctor confronts Baynes about his harbouring Davros, "the most evil being this galaxy has created". Even though Baynes assures the Doctor that the Kaled is dead, the Doctor is not convinced. He lets it slip that he could potentially revive Davros, and Baynes takes him to inspect the corpse. When there, though, Baynes' wife Lorraine notices that Davros has brain activity. He has been in suspended animation. At the Doctor's voice, Davros awakes. The Doctor can't bring himself to flick the switch to kill him himself. He soon stabilises, laughing maniacally.
The Doctor watches in horror as Arnold and Lorraine Baynes introduce themselves to the newly revived Davros, and offer him a job as head of TIA's R&D department. After being shown a commercial for the company — propaganda, in the words the Doctor — Davros agrees. "We have a deal."
The Doctor, though, desperate, offers a counter-offer: he will offer himself to do the same work. Davros assures the Baynes' that the Doctor's intellect is very much equal to his own. But, with the Doctor threatening to return him to suspended animation, he accuses the Time Lord of being an obvious potential saboteur — he must be incarcerated. Baynes has a better idea. Both will work for him — together.
The Doctor is woken up in the morning by a device placed in his inner ear during his sleep. He goes back to sleep, telling it to wake him up 5 minutes before the start of his work day. After having breakfast, he arrives in the lab, and purposely ruins two hours of Davros' work. He turns the tables around, making Davros act as his assistant — even getting him to make him some tea.
Meanwhile, Willis is conducting an interview with Baynes. After bringing up the mines, though, Baynes destroys his tape recorder and demands that Willis stay for a few days. Willis, in no situation to bargain being trapped in the dome with no way of calling for help, is forced to oblige.
The Doctor and Davros have a discussion about their past. Davros considers the Doctor to be the closest thing to a friend he's ever had, and tries to convince him that he has changed his ways after 90 years of nothing to do but think and remember.
They break for lunch, as is government-required. Baynes shows the Doctor to the computer centre, the centre of all the dome's electronic systems. Though, as the Doctor notes, a tactical disadvantage with everything in one place, its walls are heavily fortified, and the fortress of a centre has everything in it for men to survive for weeks on end.
In the computer centre, Kim tells the Doctor of what she and Willis had seen earlier: a secret automated production line for a whole army of robots. What is going on? What is TAI preparing for? They decide to meet again.
Lorraine sits dinner with Davros, whom she admires greatly. She wants to write the definitive biography of Davros, and intends to interview him for it. He reminisces about his past, about the food pills offered on Skaro. While the Doctor warns Baynes about Davros, Davros does the opposite with Baynes' wife.
Within their first day at work, the Doctor and Davros complete a prototype of the alpha matrix, something Baynes thought would take them months. He then tasks Davros with something far more complex: to end the galactic famine, and feed Mutter's Spiral. The Doctor doesn't trust him, and expresses this to Willis and Kim in their prearranged meeting.
Baynes expresses the same thing to his wife Lorraine: the Doctor may be right, and they should be prepared for this possibility. The Doctor and co. explore the dome, to find the secret robot factory Willis and Kim discovered earlier. He inspects one of the robots, and finds out where his work has gone. His invention has not been used as a starship's navigation computer — it's in a robot's central processing unit.
When Willis contemplates destroying an approaching robot, though, it goes into defensive mode. The machine advances; it is just about to kill them.
to be added
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Davros - Terry Molloy
- Arnold Baynes - Bernard Horsfall
- Lorraine Baynes - Wendy Padbury
- Willis - Eddie de Oliveira
- Kimberly Todd - Ruth Sillers
- Shan - Katarina Olsson
- Scientist Ral - David Bickerstaff
- Kaled Medics - Louise Falkner, Karl Hansen
- Pilot - Andrew Westfield
- Lorraine Baynes has a degree in space medicine.
- The Doctor has skimmed Lorraine's two best selling books on the Daleks: Dalek Genius and The Dark Side of Skaro. In her personal future, she will teach at the University of Oxford.
- The Baynes do not have any children.
- Willis is a member of the Galactic Press Association. He works for an independent news corporation.
- Baynes describes Willis as "an asteroid hugging halfwit."
- Peri Brown is on the other side of the galaxy, attending a botany symposium.
- Davros was grievously wounded by a Thal bombardment of his laboratory in the Kaled Dome.
- According to Davros, he was forced to relive his entire life experience during every second of his 90-year imprisonment in cryogenic suspension.
- Davros has no eyes or taste buds. Even before his accident, he had only eaten food pills and the occasional rodent.
- Humanity has colonised more than 60% of the habitable planets in Mutter's Spiral, and are within a century of colonising the rest.
- By this point, the humans have all but abolished the death penalty, in the belief that even the worst criminal might change his or her way of thinking.
- Earth's ecosystem collapsed during the 21st century. Baynes dismisses this as "ancient history."
- The Doctor disagrees with universalisation.
- Skaro is in the same galaxy as Earth, namely Mutter's Spiral.
- Skaro has two moons: Falkus and Omega Mysterium.
- Towards the end of the Thousand Year War, no Kaled had died of old age in ten generations.
- The Mutos engaged in cannibalism.
- Davros refers to Neanderthals and homo sapiens.
- By the time that Davros was born, no one on Skaro could remember how the Thousand Year War had started.
- TransAllied, Inc (TAI) is one of the largest corporations in the galaxy. It is owned and run by Arnold Baynes.
Foods and beverages
- The Doctor orders orange juice and toast with marmalade for breakfast and tea.
- The Doctor has Davros make him tea.
- This story marks the first appearance of Davros in an audio drama.
- This was the first time that Terry Molloy had played Davros since the television story Remembrance of the Daleks in 1988.
- Lorraine Baynes' name is most likely intended as a reference to the 1985 science fiction comedy film Back to the Future as Marty McFly's mother's maiden name is Lorraine Baines.
- Chronologically, this is the earliest audio drama to feature the Sixth Doctor.
- This audio drama was recorded on 27 and 28 January 2003 at The Moat Studios.
- An illustrated preview by Martin Geraghty appeared in DWM 335.
- This is the second part in a loose tetralogy of "villain"-focused stories to celebrate Doctor Who's 40th anniversary, beginning with Omega and ending with Zagreus.
- The story was reissued in 2007 as part of The Complete Davros Collection DVD boxset.
- Lorraine Baynes mentions that Davros himself created his life support chariot. (AUDIO: Guilt)
- Lorraine Baynes refers to the fact that the Daleks repeatedly betrayed Davros. She believes that the Doctor's presence at these events was incidental to his defeat. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks)
- Baynes mentions that Davros was seemingly killed by the Daleks only days after he created them. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- Davros describes in detail how it felt when he was imprisoned in cryogenic suspension for ninety years. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks)
- The events surrounding the flashback sequences would later be revisited and explored in more detail in AUDIO: Corruption, in which Katarina Olsson and David Bickerstaff reprise their roles as Shan and Scientist Ral respectively. Councillor Valron, who is mentioned in this story, appears in Corruption as played by Sean Carlsen.
- This is Davros' first of four known encounters with the Doctor during his sixth incarnation. The others occurred in Tranquil Repose on Necros, (TV: Revelation of the Daleks) in Waterloo, Belgium in June 1815 (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros) and on Lethe. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts)
- The Doctor has already visited Stella Stora. This is the reason that Willis, who reported on "that business," has asked for his assistance. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)
- Davros refers to the Fifth Doctor threatening to kill him on the Prison Station. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
- Official Davros page at bigfinish.com; note that it is out of print and is available as download only.
- DisContinuity for Davros at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide