Reviews and Commentary

 The Genocide Machine AKA The Annoyance of the Clones 
Big Finish Productions
Mike Tucker

Part 1

Leia, excuse me, Bev, R2D2 and Chewie are investigating a tower looking for gold when C3PO, wearing a hideously ugly, terrifying even, wig leaps out and throws popsicle sticks at them. Bev is so frightened, she gasps the rest of the episode.

The Daleks are waiting... waiting... please wait... searching... error... error... system failure... this system will now restart, press any key to continue.

Ace goes outside, finds Bev and they shag while discussing invisible libraries. At least, that's what I gathered from all the gasping, moaning, mumbling and other intriguing noises.

Part 2

All Daleks board at gate 11. Flight leaves in ten minutes.

Bev and Clone Ace moan a lot. They moan some more. Ace wants to know where Bev is. Heheh. Shame on her. She didn't even know who Bev was. The Doctor obviously doesn't have a clue about them. On the other hand, he does figure out Ace is a clone.

The Daleks agree with the general assessment that Ace saying "I Obey" is creepier than her screaming and yelling. Since they prefer creepy over suggestive any day, they tell real Ace to shut up, which, of course, she does not.

Suddely, the Doctor remembers that he has a companion and she went off into the woods in a fit of pique. The Doctor obviously doesn't have a clue about Ace'n'Bev. On the other hand, he does figure out she's a clone.

Daleks: Woosh!

Part 3

The Daleks rush into the library and cheefully slaughter everyone. They try to connect a PC to a Mac and download the harddrive. Needless to say, this fails. The poor Dalek responsible starts screaming, and really, it's such an odd thing, you sorta feel sorry for it. Stuff explodes and falls down.

Pseudo Ace bops Bev in the head. There she goes being creepy again. I've decided that she has red glowing eyes and stands really still when she isn't sarcastically saying things like "Move", "I Obey", "Do Not Move" and "Pull My Finger." It's a good thing there aren't too many more clone Daleks because if they were all sanguinely sarcastic as this one, everyone would run away and leave them their planets for the taking. It gets even better when real Ace starts doing it back.

Oh yeah, and the Doctor lets the Daleks catch him, but according to Fake Ace, they just want his brain. Braaaiiinnnn. Braaaiiiinnn. Well, that just proves she's a zombie. We're suppose to believe this kills him. Uh huh. Pull my finger.

Part 4

The Doctor discovers the water people. He's way out there, man, but the water people kick him back out. It's an established rule that 7doc must have at least one out of body experience per story.

The data dalek become Ghandi, Peace, mon. Peace. He like, so totally did not want to kill people. Especially water people. Turns out those water people are what made the Water Works Data storage thingee work so good. Slave labor. The Doctor was soooo pissed, but he dragged on the librarian dude with him anyway.

Meanwhile, Ace and Bev and water person Rappell, Bev's ex-boyfriend helps them escape. Poor Bev. He gets killed again by the crazy Dalek. Who do you feel more sorry for? Ace shows some spine, helping Bev through this, then they escape.

Terminator Ace meets the Doctor and Librarian and silent Prink. Amazingly, she's not only sarcastic, but sadistic. After juggling Librarian dude over the waterfall, she snaps Prink's neck - a horribly chilling moment with sound effects - and then the water people kill her. Bev makes sure they killed the right Ace.

The Emperor dalek went all apeshit on data dalek and they had a fight. Data dalek got killed. Aww. Ace pretends to be Terminator version Ace, waltzes in - actually says "I Obey" at one point - and helps blow stuff up while the Doctor lays out some technobabble escape-save-the-water-people plan and they all leave. The End.

But no, seriously.

The most basic theme in this story is whether ultimate knowledge creates ultimate power which then corrupts absolutely, or ultimate wisdom. The entire story, the Doctor's assumption, is based on the first premise. He and the supporting characters are so persistant in their belief that the audience simply goes along with it. It isn't until act three that the possibility of peaceful wisdom is suggested. It's not that Daleks are intrinsically evil. They're a product of their culture, which is stagnant in nature. I like to think the smart Dalek survived. We were never told that all the Daleks in the Library died, only that the building endured a series of explosions.

And what about RoboAce? I kinda felt sorry for her. After all, on one hand, she was a Dalek through and through, you can hear it in the contempt dripping from her voice. Even when she stops modulating her voice to resemble a human, it remains sing song in a way that suggests a certain level of mental imbalance. But is that hardly a surprise? For a short time, she possessed human emotion and thought processes. And I'll be honest. She made me think of SpaceAce: the ultimate soldier: a Space Fleet trooper cybernetically modified to combat the enemy as once the Kaleds modified themselves. Poor things.

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