The Genocide Machine (#7)

Big Finish Main Range

There is just something infinitely enjoyable about this audio drama, even listening to it 7 years later! This was my favorite of the first 10 because it was just so darn fun to listen to, even with Ace being so contrary. Usually she’s willing to give the Doctor the benefit of the doubt but as he’s trying to find the library, she’s moaning about how everything’s so wet and ruined. Then again, this could just be her being a teenager!

The re-introduction of the Daleks couldn’t hurt, either. They’re back and as single-minded as ever. The really, really cool thing is how they tie in this attempt to get all of the knowledge in the universe with later attempts to get ahead. It’s even mentioned and utilized in later scripts, though I’ll have to come back to this idea later because I can’t remember which ones. I do distinctly remember it, though.

Not that all of the Dalek stories are great, as witnessed by the Apocalypse Element. Ugh. Painful to get through that one at times. With The Genocide Machine, Mike Tucker manages to keep the Daleks out of the title and fully out of the story until part II, though they kill off people in the beginning. It almost reminds me of the cylon’s in Battlestar Galactica as they have a human looking replica of Ace. Why they don’t use the replica more often is a mystery to me, though. It even fools the Doctor, though they can’t make it warm, as he points out in the end.

The best part is the experimental Dalek going all humanist and “life must be protected” on them. The story is slightly predictable but not to a level that I care. The water creatures are cool, with great voice sound effects. The biggest complaint I have is a small detail. Before they use the Doctor to transfer the data, he knows that they killed all of the library staff. But when he’s returned to his body he asks Chief Librarian Elgin where all his people are! Strange question because he knew they were all dead before he “died.” But it does set up his moralizing line about how Elgin’s been quite evil, imprisoning the Kar-Charratans. But this is still an audio I can listen to over again, a stand-out in the ranks!

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred

Writer: Mike Tucker

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: April 2000

Laura Vilensky 2019