released oUT NoW! 318 pages | Hardback
Authors George mann, Justin richards, Cavan scott Publisher bbC books Few things are more
soul-crushingly tedious than lengthy descriptions of the synopses of old TV episodes. Fortunately, this is something the writers of this weighty tome are clearly well aware of. So, while great swathes of Dalek are taken up with dry recitations of old plot points, they’re interspersed with brief factual sections on such matters as the evolution of pepperpot design, the two Dalek movies, and an interview with voice artist Nicholas Briggs, master of the ring-modulator.
There are also slithers of new fiction: five comic strips and four short stories – all two-pagers. Intriguingly, two of the prose pieces are by veteran script editors for the show. Terrance Dicks offers a glimpse of a downtrodden Davros, before he rose to power. Eric Saward, meanwhile, brings us soft-voiced, empathetic “New Daleks” and baffling satirical jabs at Brexit. This story is sensibly placed right at the back, to prevent you hurling the book across the room before you’ve finished it.
The imagery is a mixed bag, combining concept art with new CG illustrations. While the latter are occasionally impressive, just as often they inspire a tut, thanks to Dalek casings that look as weirdly notquite-right as the dodgy Dapol action figures of the late ’80s. It’s enough to make you want to grate “DO NOT DEVIATE!”