Jubilee (#40)

Big Finish Main Range

Daleks laughing? Cackling even? I love the movie commercial at the beginning of this audio, to be sure. It’s the ending that disappoints me. Evelyn “Hot Lips” Smythe??? Hehehe. Oh, that’s so rich! “All praise the glorious English Empire!”

It seems all mysterious and interesting, especially as Nigel Rochester (Martin Jarvis) is totally nuts! And Miriam, his wife, is just power-crazed. I have to admit, though, that I’m really struggling with this audio because I absolutely hated it the first time around. I didn’t see the point and couldn’t bear listening to it again since then.

But on this listen, I’ve figured out a few things. 1) it’s very preachy. Judging others based on past experience and looks, expecting them to be like everyone else who is like them (re: race issues in this case) is being very much like the Daleks. 2) preachy only goes so far with Dr. Who stories. This one in particular because the Doctor ends the episode with a monologue about it and Evelyn, though she’s just pitying the lone, surviving Dalek, points out that the Doctor is being very much like the Daleks in judging them. And 3) the Dalek did, ultimately, “teach” humans to be very Dalek-like in mentality, punishing all others who couldn’t live up to the rules. But as much as that’s indicated through illegal contractions (shan’t! won’t!) and sending people to camps, it’s not really touched on other than briefly and as the shadow behind the story—the second story written between the lines.

But since that’s all part of the preaching of intolerance being bad, it doesn’t stand out as much as it should. There are times when Dr. Who does get all preachy and it’s fine but sometimes, it’s just grating. And this story isn’t either extreme, just kind of blah. The best part of the story is about the relationship between Evelyn and the lone surviving Dalek. He cannot kill her, won’t kill her, as he identifies with her. But how he learns to make decisions and think on his own is a separate story, I’m sure. Why is he now a “him”? Why is the Dalek even remotely interested in the fate of Evelyn? 100 years of torture and isolation, without orders, forces him to change mentally and that definitely shows in his reactions.

I don’t like that Miriam, the Dalek, and Nigel all have the insanity excuse at the end. Perhaps they think they’re all insane but really, they’re just irrational and crazed mentally after years of a crazy world. But who can tell? That’s the biggest downfall of it all—they’re just insane, that’s why they do what they do. Lame. Well, I guess it’s good that a leader finally admits to it. But mostly, this audio has high points with a philosophical side that digs around in strange areas of prejudice and villainy in the good and bad guys.

Colin Baker, Maggie Stables, and Martin Jarvis

Writer: Robert Shearman

Directors: Robert Shearman and Nicholas Briggs

Release: January 2003

Laura Vilensky 2019