Thursday, 14 April 2011

Review: I, Davros - Innocence

In a departure from her Eighth Doctor audios, todays review from Peri-Peri comes from the first in the I, Davros series.

Today, I bring to you, I, Davros: Innocence.

This story is set over 4 seperate parts recounting, amongst other things, how Davros came to be, and why he is the crazy maniacal megalomaniac we have come to love. It features Terry Malloy as Davros, whom classic fans will know from Resurrection, Revelation and Rememberence of the Daleks. Another of its stars is Richard Franklin, who played Mike Yates for three years in the 1970's, though he is playing a different character this time around. I will get the synopsis out of the way first and then give my take.

The Kaled and Thal races are at war. No one really remembers why, or when it started, but generations of people on both sides have lost so very much.

Born into an influential family is Davros. Now aged sixteen, he is being pulled in various directions his father wants him to follow tradition and go into the military. His sister has joined the Military Youth and his scheming, devoted mother wants him to pursue a life of science.

But no one seems terribly interested in what Davros himself wants. So he must begin to assert himself, begin to take control over his own life, begin to work towards his destiny.
Now I should start by saying that although this gives a great insight into the beginnings of Davros, if you are looking for something more in depth then I point you towards Davros, which is a Sixth Doctor audio.

This story starts out with the Daleks needing a favour from Davros. The request for help that they put to him kick starts the audio, sending the listener back to Davros' teen years where most of the story takes place. From here on in believe it or not, some of the scenes are actually really quite poignant and touching. The death of some of his closest family in a bomb explosion, along with the revelation of his illigitemacy really draws you in, to the point where you start to sypathise with him and understand his descent into dastardliness. The younger Davros is brilliantly acted and you begin to realise that this character could have had quite a promising life if circumstances had been different.

It is towards the end of this story that Davros commits his first real act of evil, much to the delight of his mother, and you know from here on in that things are headed downhill. When we cut back to the present day at the end of the audio, you can hear the hurt still in Davros voice about how this all started, but not really any hint of remorse for his actions. It really makes you begin to wonder if all of this came about because of an in built evil, or if it was because he was forced into a situation where he needed to become this way in order to survive. There is a scene at the end where he talks about being 'more of a man' and it is really powerful stuff, making you wonder if he is saying it as fact to us and the Daleks or whether he is saying it so he can convince himself it is true.

Despite the persona he shows off, this audio really starts to strip layers off of the character and make you question what you already know of him. But more than that it starts making steps towards making you begin to understand him. I wasnt the biggest fan of Davros beforehand, but I loved this story (and the subsequent ones) and wholeheartedly reccomend it.

For those of you who like chronology, this slots nicely in after Revelation of the Daleks

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