The Chase is a strange one. It’s one of those Who tales that has flashes of complete genius interspersed with some utter nonsense. But then, it is a Terry Nation story!
And before you throw your hands up in protest, hear me out.
Nation was not very good at plotting. The Chase is a case in point. There is no real sense of urgency in here. The Daleks have their own time machine are chasing the Doctor through the universe! It is literally a race against time and should be a lot more exciting that it is.
The problem is the episodic nature of the narrative. Each episode or so is a self-contained mini-adventure. The Doctor and the TARDIS crew land, have a quick adventure and leave just before the Daleks get there.
There is also the classic Nation method of naming planets. The planet Aridius is a desert planet. Although it was originally a water planet and all the water went away and… well, the story does not really make much sense, but never mind. There is some great adventuring going on amongst my complaining!
The other classic if the planet Mechanus. I bet you can’t guess what sort of things inhabit this planet..?
One more moan… there are a couple of howlers that have made it through the edit to the finished book. For example, we are told within the space of ten minutes that the Doctor had changed his appearance many times before and also that he is on his first incarnation.
What is very good is the writing itself. John Peel has taken the stretched narrative of Nation’s original scripts and worked them into a pretty well written book. Maureen O'Brien, who played the companion Vicki in this story, is quite wonderful as a narrator. It is a brilliant stroke of genius from Audio Go to have an actor connected with the particular story in question narrate it, as it adds a nice level of authenticity to the proceedings.