SFX - - Reviews - Calvin Bax­ter

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!”

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