Energy of the Daleks was the fourth story in the first series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Nicholas Briggs and featured Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela.
Energy was the source of much excitement for the production team, as it was the first script to be written and recorded as part of the range. As such, it represented the proper return of Tom Baker to the role of the Doctor in a regular capacity after more than 30 years (although he had previously reprised the role in audio format with Hornets' Nest, Demon Quest and Serpent Crest for BBC Audio).
However, it was ultimately not the first story released to that effect. Though originally intended as the launch title of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, the decision was eventually made to push back the release, due to concern that the inclusion of the Daleks may partly overshadow the hype for Baker's return. Destination: Nerva therefore became the series' debut story, with Energy of the Daleks becoming a "mid-season boost". (BFX: Energy of the Daleks)
The Doctor and Leela find themselves in the middle of London at the time of a new energy crisis. The GlobeSphere Corporation seems to have all the answers — but several thousand protesters beg to differ.
The Doctor has detected a mysterious energy reading. Could it be that the most evil creatures in the universe have returned to claim ultimate victory once and for all?
An astronaut named Damien Stephens is about to make a spacewalk from his shuttle to a base on the moon—but his vitals are not right. Nevertheless he plunges ahead.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Leela are preparing to land in 21st-century London. Leela has dressed for the occasion, at the Doctor’s direction, but the TARDIS’s sensors indicate something is not right about their destination. The Doctor lands them in the year 2025; for once they are noticed immediately, but the first observer they encounter is surprisingly nonplussed. The man indicates that a protest is about to take place, however, intriguing the Doctor, who takes Leela to watch. Aboard the moonbase, Stephens arrives and meets crew members Lydia Harding and Kevin Winston, who have made some minor adjustments to the control systems. Stephens is noticeably tired, and asks for his quarters to rest before the system’s test run. As he sleeps, he hears strange, mechanised voices in his head. Lydia and Kevin discuss Stephens’ strange behaviour, and Lydia persuades Kevin to illegally access the security camera in Stephens’ quarters so they can monitor his health. They find him thrashing and mumbling in his sleep—“I must obey!”. The system mysteriously shuts off. Stephens finds himself transported back to his office in GlobeSphere Corporation’s headquarters, where he is confronted by Daleks. Shortly afterward, Lydia finds Stephens in his quarters, refreshed and ready to begin the test.
The Doctor and Leela find the protest, which includes thousands of people, all of whom are protesting the treachery of “Globesphere”, the GlobeSphere Corporation. The sight of a large holographic screen makes the Doctor realises he has landed in the wrong time again; he was aiming for 2015, but has brought them to 2025. He locates an access terminal for the holographic internet; it doesn’t recognise him at first, but he uses his sonic screwdriver to gain access. He researches GlobeSphere, and learns that the date is 30 January 2025. The Earth, it seems, is in the grip of an energy crisis—but GlobeSphere, under Damien Stephens’ leadership, intends to solve it. The Doctor is distracted by an announcement from the protest—one Jack Coulson is about to take the stage. Coulson’s speech takes place in front of the National Gallery, which now has a huge energy receiver on its roof. Coulson’s speech is primarily economic, decrying the increased prices that are projected to accompany the transition to GlobeSphere’s new energy source, and the shortages that will result in the meantime, which may cause many deaths. Just before the crowd can become a mob, a private security force arrives to disperse the crowd, and the crowd turns to conflict, forcing the Doctor and Leela to separate. Leela is arrested by one of the security officers, whom she finds she is unable to hurt despite her best efforts. The Doctor, meanwhile, locates Coulson and shows him an energy reading coming from the National Gallery; he escorts Coulson away from the scene.
Leela is taken for processing, but she is unable to answer her captor’s questions, and finds that he behaves as though drugged. The man uses soundwaves to temporarily incapacitate her. A security scan reveals that she is a time traveller; and the men—the Robomen, to be precise—report it to the Daleks. She is taken before the Daleks, who use a cerebral probe on her to gain more information. They question her about her time travel and history; but she is mostly able to resist at first. However, she is unable to avoid revealing that she is with the Doctor. Meanwhile, the Doctor talks with Coulson about his history with Stephens; they used to be partners, until Stephens abruptly went off on his own to found GlobeSphere. Stephens’ advancements are brilliant, but perhaps too brilliant; in their past, Coulson was the intelligent one, while Stephens was the radical. Further, Stephens gave up his radicalism when he founded GlobeSphere. A news dispatch reveals that the protest has been dispersed. The Doctor decides to infiltrate GlobeSphere in search of Leela and the source of the anomalous readings. He gets Coulson inside the National Gallery via a WWII-era evacuation tunnel. He determines the energy readings are anomalously high for this era; and Coulson tells him the first test of the system is expected to start at any time. At the same time, the Daleks detect their entry, and conclude the Doctor is on the scene.
The test of the energy transmission system commences. On Earth, the Doctor hears the Daleks announce his presence to their troops in the building, and he realises the energy readings are consistent with a Dalek timeship. On the moon, Kevin realises the energy levels are far too high, much higher than anticipated; but Stephens assures them it is according to plan. Kevin and Lydia are not convinced; and suddenly a transmission comes through. The Daleks congratulate Stephens on doing well, and announce the beginning of the destruction of the human race.
Coulson is shocked to learn a little of the alien origins of the Daleks; but there is no time to discuss it. The Doctor and Coulson witness the Robomen guards, and the Doctor concludes that the timeship is small, with perhaps half a dozen Daleks. He realises, as well, that Leela must have been interrogated, and will be inside the timeship. Coulson has little choice but to go with him; but first, the Doctor borrows Coulson’s “little TV” (a smartphone or datapad, presumably). Inside the timeship, the Daleks release Leela from her bonds. She insults them, and insists that the Doctor will defeat them; but they decide to have her robotized. They have the Robomen place her in the robotizing unit for conversion. She is at first able to resist the control wave, but the Robomen increase the power accordingly.
On the moon, the test ends, and Lydia and Kevin question Stephens about the high energy levels; at that level, and worldwide, they would be a hundred times the amount of energy needed by humanity. However, Stephens has set the controls to maximum, and started the countdown. In the National Gallery, the Doctor encounters some Robomen, and uses the television device to overload the microwave control signal, disabling them. He and Coulson disguise themselves in the Robomen uniforms and make their way to the chamber where Leela is imprisoned, encountering more Robomen along the way; it seems Leela is causing trouble with the robotizing process. The Doctor again uses the TV device to disrupt the control wave, and frees Leela from the machine, introducing her to Jack. He discovers a Janis thorn in the back of a dead Roboman; the Doctor scolds Leela for using them, but not harshly, as the Robomen are mostly dead already. The Doctor searches for the energy source, and finds it is close by, about a hundred yards away. However, a Dalek enters the room and catches them; the Doctor, Leela, and Jack get the Dalek into the robotizing unit and activate the machine at full power. The Dalek becomes briefly compliant under the effect of the machine, and the Doctor interrogates it. It reveals the Daleks are there to use the solar energy—focused from the moon—to destroy humanity. It reveals a teleport (transmat unit) nearby, connecting to the moonbase. The machine overloads and explodes, disabling the Dalek.
The Doctor, Leela, and Coulson hide from the Daleks in Stephens’ office; the Doctor reveals that the transmat unit is in the office—specifically, built into Stephens’ chair. As the Daleks break in, the Doctor activates the unit, teleporting the three of them away. They arrive on the moonbase, in Stephens’ bed; Stephens is also there, but unconscious. The Doctor disables the transmat, preventing the Daleks from following. However, before he can do anything else, Kevin and Lydia discover their presence and take them into custody. Lydia recognises Jack, giving the Doctor an opportunity to explain; he accurately describes the current situation. On Earth, the Daleks take their ship and set course for the moon to exterminate the Doctor. En route, they send a signal to reactivate Stephens. As Stephens awakens, the Doctor reveals that Stephens is a high-functioning Roboman. Stephens recognises the Doctor, lending credence to the Doctor’s explanation; this makes Kevin hesitate at obeying Stephens’ order to kill the Doctor. Jack tries to get through to Stephens, but is unsuccessful, and the man runs from the room to obey his Dalek orders. As the others follow, Kevin gets a message from the control centre of the base, stating that the Daleks have arrived—and moments later, the control centre crew are exterminated. Shaken, Kevin leads the Doctor and the others to the energy transfer controls, where Stephens is accelerating the process. Kevin and Lydia evacuate the rest of the crew while the Doctor deals with Stephens. Leela convinces the Doctor to let Jack talk to Stephens again, as she knows it is possible to resist the Robomen control wave.
Jack distracts Stephens while the Doctor examines the layout of the transfer system. Jack successfully breaks through to Stephens’ buried emotions, but he is unable as yet to stop him from his work. Meanwhile the Daleks are advancing on the transfer control room. The Doctor realises that the system, when fully active, will put a force field around the Earth; but why? Stephens manages to reveal the Dalek plan: the overpowered energy source will counteract gravity, expelling the moon from orbit, and thus causing massive meteorological changes that will exterminate humanity. The Daleks arrive at that moment, and confirm this; they state that the controls are locked, but the Doctor insists on trying to stop the plan anyway. Meanwhile, Leela can hear the sound of the Dalek timeship nearby. The Daleks can’t fire on the Doctor, for fear of destroying the controls. Stephens tells the Doctor to access the power grid of the directional controls, and the Daleks immediately exterminate them. They threaten to kill Leela to get the Doctor to stop, and he is forced to do so. The countdown reaches zero, and the transfer begins. Exultant, the Daleks explain that they came back in time to ensure the extinction of humanity before their many future battles with the Daleks. The Doctor orders his friends to cover their ears, and he activates the same sonic wave he used on the Robomen, disrupting the Daleks’ concentration and impairing their vision. The Daleks retreat, still confident they have won. The Doctor reveals that yes, the beam will still fire.
As the Daleks prepare to leave, they discover that the beam has been redirected at the timeship’s power source. The ship explodes, destroying the Daleks and damaging the base. The Doctor tells the others what he has done, and credits Stephens with the final clue that allowed him to redirect the beam. Jack mourns Stephens’ death, and the Doctor admits that he does not know if Stephens could have survived had he not been exterminated. He reflects that there is a lesson to be learned from Stephens’ desire for a shortcut to the future. He sets to repairing the transmat for return to Earth.
- The Doctor - Tom Baker
- Leela - Louise Jameson
- Damien Stephens/Robomen - Alex Lowe
- Jack Coulson - Mark Benton
- Lydia Harding - Caroline Keiff
- Kevin Winston/Robomen - Dan Starkey
- Robomen - John Dorney
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- In preparation for their trip to London in the 21st century, Leela has followed the Doctor's advice and changes into clothing appropriate to the era. However, she finds high heels impossible to walk in, so the Doctor tells her that she should wear trainers instead.
- On the day before the Doctor and Leela's arrival, a holographic horse appeared outside the HMS Belfast in order to promote the Grand National.
- The Doctor had intended to take Leela on a trip to London in 2015. However, the TARDIS overshot by a decade and materialised on 30 January 2025 instead.
- The Doctor describes the Internet as "a 21st century human obsession".
- There is a major protest in Trafalgar Square, led by Jack Coulson, against the GlobeSphere Corporation, the founder and CEO of which is the technology pioneer Damien Stephens. After the energy crisis worsened in 2021, Stephens had vast solar panel fields built on the Moon, which are intended to channel energy directly to Earth. The energy transfer was due to begin on 31 January 2025 from the GlobeSphere Moonbase. However, Stephens has seemingly made a deal with the energy companies and various governments, which has delayed the commencement of the energy transfer process until 2025. GlobeSphere HQ is the former National Gallery.
- Stephens and Jack attended the University of Durham together. Jack is surprised that it was Stephens who discovered the way to transfer the maximum level of energy from the Moon to Earth; Jack was the scientific genius, whereas Stephens was the radical. During the height of the energy crisis, Stephens' mother had died of exposure in her house, as the energy company had switched off all the power.
- The Doctor and Jack are able to access GlobeSphere HQ as there was an access tunnel built under the National Gallery during World War II through which the paintings were to be removed in the event of bombs damaging the building. The Doctor claims that only he and the Prime Minister Winston Churchill were aware of its existence.
- Leela is captured by the Robomen, surgically modified humans who are controlled by the Daleks, who were posing as GlobeSphere security guards. The Daleks determine that Leela is a time traveller as they are able to detect traces of chronon particles.
- The Daleks have installed a transmat beam in Stephens' office in GlobeSphere HQ with a direct link to his bed on the GlobeSphere Moonbase.
- This is the first Fourth Doctor story in performed Doctor Who to feature the Daleks since the television story Destiny of the Daleks in 1979. Furthermore, it is the first performed Fourth Doctor story to feature the Daleks which does not also feature their creator, Davros.
- This audio drama was recorded on 22 April 2011 at Audio Sorcery. This was the first audio drama that Tom Baker recorded for Big Finish Productions.
- The story was originally titled Dalek Moon Rising, but was changed to Energy of the Daleks so that the title sounded more authentic to the TV series. It was deliberately evocative of The Power of the Daleks. (BFX: Energy of the Daleks)
- The story was originally released on CD and download on 12 April 2012. In 2018, this story was re-released on vinyl in a limited run of 1500 copies. This was also the first Big Finish release to use the 2018 version of the Doctor Who logo.
- The Doctor takes Leela to the 21st century which is where he said he would take her at the end of The Wrath of the Iceni.
- The Doctor refers to the janis thorn. (TV: The Face of Evil)
- Leela recalls that the heavy fog made it difficult to see during her previous visit to London in 1889. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
- Leela once again refers to members of the Metropolitan Police Service as "blue guards." (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang; AUDIO: The Renaissance Man, The Foe from the Future, Dead Men's Tales, The Hourglass Killers)
- The Daleks previously used Robomen during their occupation of Earth in the 22nd century. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
- The Doctor tells Jack that the Daleks were once much like humans until a "near lethal cocktail of war, hatred and technology" on their home planet. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- The Daleks have converted Stephens into a high-functioning Roboman. The same technology was utilised to convert Gordon Pellan and Ernst Tanlee into Dalek agents. (AUDIO: "Death to the Daleks!", Project Infinity)
- The Daleks state that, in the future, humans will defeat the Dalek Empire on numerous occasions, often with the assistance of the Doctor. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Daleks' Master Plan; AUDIO: Dalek War: Chapter Four, Lucie Miller / To the Death)
- During his seventh incarnation, the Doctor would visit London in April and May 2025 in the company of Ace and Hex. On that occasion, he destroyed the Forge's beta facility. (AUDIO: Project: Destiny) Furthermore, the Seventh Doctor returned to London in August 2025, where he, Lysandra Aristedes and Sally Morgan defeated the Sons of Ki, a group of fanatics who worshiped one of the Elder Gods who fed on chaos. (AUDIO: Black and White)
- Leela would later encounter the Daleks on the Gallifrey of an alternative timeline. (AUDIO: Extermination)
- Leela telling the Daleks 'I don't know and even if did I wouldn't tell you' mirrors what Rose tells to a Dalek in The Parting in the Ways.
- Official Energy of the Daleks page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Energy of the Daleks at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide