Bernice Summerfield: Death and the Daleks
by Paul Cornell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I still haven't entirely gotten used to the way Big Finish split the ongoing plotline of the Bernice stories between audios and books, so I'm not really sure if this audio just starts in the middle of the action, or if it continues on from things that took place in the books. (All the more reason to get cracking on some of the Benny books I picked up in the last Big Finish sale, I suppose.) I felt a bit at sea for the first few minutes, but after that it mostly wasn't a problem. (Except that it really felt like I was supposed to know who Miss Jones was, and I can't remember encountering the character before. Have I just not been paying attention, or has she not appeared in any of the previous audios?)
Anyway, the story is a cracking one: The Braxiatel collection has been invaded by a power known as the Fifth Axis, and Benny makes a set of very surprising discoveries about who is behind them. (Given the title, I suppose it's not a spoiler to say that, yes, it's the Daleks - but there's a bit more to it.) There's action, snark, relationship drama, terrible moral dilemmas, and Irving Braxiatel being devious - it's just about everything you could want from a Benny adventure.
There's also a bonus story on the disc that puts a rather interesting twist on the "If you could go back in time and kill a baby who would grow up to be a horrible genocidal dictator, would you?" dilemma. It's pretty graphic in its description of the fictional dictator's acts, though, so be warned - it's not a light and cheerful Benny tale. View all my reviews