It's long, each of the four parts running an hour or more, but overall quite good. Starting out with young Davros at sixteen, it follows his life up until some time before events seen in Genesis of the Daleks. We get to see how the Scientific Elite came to power, find out about Davros' accident that left him in the chair, etc.
Davros here is portrayed in some ways like Baron Frankenstein in the Hammer films. The comparison is one I've seen drawn a few times before and having recently started working through those Hammer productions, I can see the correlation, not just here in the audio series, but within the later TV stories as well. Research and experimentation for the sake of science, initially, and in an effort to refine things later.
In some ways, that's the main issue I have with I, Davros. He's portrayed as almost always having that attitude. Oh there's things within the story that have obviously contributed, but overall, he was always going to be a mad scientific genius, these stories merely show us how he ended up becoming the creator of the daleks.
Given the titles of the four parts, Innocence, Purity, Corruption, and Guilt I was hoping for a little more. It would have been nice to have a young Renaissance man, starting with best intentions and gradually sliding down a slippery slope. Someone we could like and empathise with, who we could understand making the decisions he makes, even if we disagree with them. But by the end of the first part, he's already shown just how far he's willing to go for research.
There are plenty of nice subtle nods towards continuity, some interesting twists and turns, and the writing is quite good. Being the sad Who buff I am, I have to admit to little thrills with the various sound effects I recognised from the original TV stories as well. These little details help a great deal.
The acting is good on the whole, with Terry Molloy giving a solid performance as Davros. He manages a good range within the story, and it must be said, his performance helps carry it through some of its weaker or more predictable moments. One very nice touch was them getting Peter Miles back to reprise his role as Nyder, Davros' second in command from Genesis.
It has to be said that the ending seems a little... abrupt. I can understanding wanting to end it where they did, and on paper it looks great, but it really needs an epilogue of some description. At the start of each of the previous parts, we've had Davros talking with a dalek. I really felt, given that it was a linking narrative device for each of the parts, that we needed one final conversation to close things out.
I must say, however, that it is a good series. I found myself wanting to learn more, being interested with how some things referenced in the TV show happened, and getting answers to many of them.