Thursday, 8 June 2017
What's interesting in The Fearless Part 2 is that for brief bits of the story, the Daleks are victims: the fearful, almost. There's also a cracking - and to my mind, quite Davies-ish, whose reciprocal influence on Nick Briggs is not to be underestimated by this point - bit of humour early on in this instalment in which the Daleks are chanting "Victory!" over and over but then interrupt themselves with "Silence!" the moment they hear that the Fearless are on the hull of their ship, about to burst in on them. Then there's their hubristic belief that their firepower is superior to that of the Fearless, quickly proved wrong. It's a unique little instance of getting tension out of the Daleks being in danger and being afraid of what's coming to get them: a proper way of selling quite how dangerous and formidable the Fearless really are. Kade's bravado, swagger and intensity - you can almost see his broad shoulders and determined expression just from how Clarke delivers his lines - shine through once again and raise the quality of the whole piece. He pivots on a dime from fury to despair, and it's compelling stuff.
The definition of a sidequel is a story which "portrays events that occur at the same time as the original work, but focuses on different characters in a different setting. Such stories may intersect with the original work, and often involve similar themes" (Our Lord and Master, Saint Wikipedia). The Star Wars anthology film Rogue One doesn't quite count, I guess, since it is really a sequel to one set of films and a prequel to another set; Philip Pullman's forthcoming Book of Dust trilogy is being called an "equel", what with the first book taking place 10 years before His Dark Materials and the others some time after (that is to say, none of it during the original). But Dalek Empire IV: The Fearless is a classic instance of a sidequel. The entire four-part series is its own work, it seems, but slots seamlessly into the earlier Dalek Empire I, during the time in which Suz was the "Angel of Mercy" and serving at the Daleks' command; it thus spans a roughly similar time period as the original, but with a whole new set of characters. So far, so uncomplicated.