Dalek Empire Dalek Empire II: Dalek War
Big Finish
Dalek Empire - The Scripts

Publisher Big Finish Cover image
Published 2004

Summary: Eight scripts from Big Finish, plus early versions, lost dialogue and interviews with the author.


Four out of Five by Jamas Enright 15/2/05

This is the first (at least, I'm assuming it will be the first of more) themed collection of scripts books from Big Finish. In this collection, we are treated to the first two seasons of Dalek Empire, which can easily be described as a magnum opus of one man, namely Nicholas Briggs. And so, here in one volume, is the four scripts of Dalek Empire and the four scripts of Dalek Empire II: Dalek War. As well as many other bits and pieces.

The first piece is an introduction by Alby Brook himself, actor Mark McDonnell, and yes he does mention about how Alby is him in space (he really needs to get a new anecdote). But after that is the first of the set of Question and Answer sections where Nick Briggs answers questions (although I'm not sure who sets them) about the series. These Q&A sections occur frequently through-out the book and are a good way to discuss the series as they enable Nick Briggs to address certain points raised during the scripts themselves.

Speaking of the scripts themselves, the format of the scripts is familiar to anyone who's seen the previous script books, namely the script with annotation end notes. Although each set of four scripts can be considered as a whole story, they are set out separately, with their own end-notes and Q&A sessions with Nick Briggs. One downside I would like to raise here is that one of my favoured parts of the end-notes were the director/writer (in this case, one and the same person!) telling about amusing/interesting moments that occurred during the recording session. All these end-notes contain script corrections, which I'm willing to take or leave. Some of this sort of material is addressed during the Q&A sections, but still it's always nice to have more.

(Speaking of having more, tip for Big Finish: throw in some photographs! Even cheap black and white ones would suffice!)

As well as the scripts, other features include sections on Script Editing with John Ainsworth (who could almost be considered another writer), Casting and an amusing section on where certain names in the series came from (and of course we all know which items were named after places on Skaro, right readers?). Not to mention a first go by Nick Briggs at the first chapter of Dalek War, which I don't think is as bad as he makes it out to be.

One other feature that needs to be mentioned is, as you are all aware, a sneak peak at Dalek Empire III. The first part of which was already released by the time this book came out (is it just me, or is every book published by Big Finish out late?). Anyway, we get a sneak peak, where 'sneak peak' is defined as about two pages of spaced out script. Call me cynical, but I don't quite see that as much of a temptation to get me to grab that series. (Which isn't to say that I don't want to hear that series...)

The most impressive part of this book is that it fitted eight scripts, although as each script is less than half of a normal Doctor Who story, that shouldn't be too surprising. Still, it bodes well for other themed collections (how about an 'Unbound' collection?), which will hopefully be as enjoyable as this one.