If you watch Doctor Who, particularly the last couple of years, and you saw the title of this adventure, “Nemesis of the Daleks,” you would probably assume that the titular nemesis is the Doctor himself. You would be mistaken. Who could possibly be more of a nemesis to the Daleks than the Doctor, you ask? Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer.
What manner of man is Abslom Daak? Think Tallahassee in Zombieland, or Ash in Army of Darkness. Apparently, he previously appeared in his own comic story arc without the Doctor, wherein he vowed to kill every Dalek he could find. Now, when not blasting Daleks out of space with his ship, he’s cutting them in half with his chainsword, which is exactly what it sounds like (a chainsaw sword) and exactly as awesome. Most importantly, though, is this: Abslom Daak is the sort of man who can make the Doctor fade into the background in his own story.
The story has the Doctor once again trying to get to the birthday party of his friend Bonjaxx (You may recall that was also his intended destination in Doctor Who Classics #2.) and once again finding himself on a planet that’s been enslaved by powerful and destructive aliens looking for greater power and greater destruction. This time it’s a planet called Hell. The enslaved creatures are the Helkans, and the thing their captors are after is called Helkogen, which is both valuable and deadly, and will evidently help the Daleks in their latest endeavor to “Exterminate!”
The Helkans are a primitive people, as conveyed by the loincloths they wear, as well as their somewhat awkward way of speaking, which involves using the word “us” in place of “we” and vice versa. It seems a little contrived, to be honest, and the species isn’t very clearly defined or interesting. Their function in this story is less about creating compelling characters and more to show how the Daleks treat their slaves, and how counterproductive their methods actually are. The slaves themselves are pretty much incidental.
Also incidental, as previously mentioned, is the Doctor himself. His main function in this story is to deliver some of the pivotal exposition about what the Daleks are up to. Other than that, the stage belongs to Abslom Daak. Which is not at all a bad thing. Abslom is the sort of character who captures your attention and makes you want to see more.
Fortunately, it seems we’re going to get more. Doctor Who Classics #3 features “Nemesis of the Daleks” parts 1, 2, and 3 (which originally ran across three issues of Doctor Who Magazine in 1989), but it ends with a cliffhanger and the words “To Be Continued.” We’ll see more of the Daleks’ diabolical plan unfold in September. Perhaps the Doctor himself will take a more active role in the story going forward. But, even if not, as long as it features Abslom Daak and his Dalek-slicing chainsword, it promises to be a pretty entertaining ride.