Biggest disappointment - the box is the same size on the inside as on the outside.
Gale Force 9 are masters at creating a good game and intertwining it with the theme of an IP. Doctor Who: The Time of the Daleks is no exception, which is surprising as it is fundamentally a dice manipulation game, and these often don't match up with strong subject matter. Players roll dice hoping to get the proper faces to overcome challenges and threats straight from every era of the show. There are a variety of different dice included that tweak the odds of certain types of results. These dice are usually accessed by using The Doctor's Companions, which you pick up along the way. The goal is for the players to stop the Daleks from reaching Gallifrey, so it's a high stakes adventure for the Doctor and his wide cast of companions.
Using companions to "focus" dice is thematically perfect. The Doctor is a madman in a box. He needs his companions to ground him, give him perspective, and to focus his mad genius. In the series, the Sonic Screwdriver has long been maligned as Deus ex Machina. In a neat wink to the series, the game uses it the same way. Need another roll of a die? Spend two sonic charges. Need a specific face of the die showing? Spend 3 Sonic charges and set it to the face that you like. Multi-Doctor episodes are always a special event on the show and those can be found here too. A player can request help from another player for a particularly difficult mission. Another Doctor can't refuse to help- that wouldn't be true to the character- but he can choose the safer alternative of helping from afar (think back to William Hartnell being trapped in a "time eddy" in The Three Doctors). The only thing missing is the snarky patter when the Doctors meet. The end result of all this attention to detail is a terrific sense of immersion in the Doctor Who setting.
Doctor Who: The Time of the Daleks is billed as a semi-cooperative game with a competitive, single winner but you don't have to play it that way and in fact it kind of doesn't make sense for the Doctors to be competing with each other at all. And it also kind of doesn't work conceptually with a competitive angle, with players using Timey Wimey cards that subtly hinder your fellow Doctors. The notion that the first Doctor who makes it to Gallifrey wins does overcome the "alpha player" tendency in many co-ops, but it also creates an oddly selfish tone - but this may appeal to those who don't like cooperative gameplay. Curse my Lizard Brain but this element also makes a significant difference in how much I enjoy the game. Sure, we can work together to defeat the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres but, damn it, I want to do it FIRST.
The struggle of winning Doctor Who: The Time of the Daleks isn't soul-crushingly difficult. You can feel when the game is slowly spiraling out of control. Losing an encounter adds Daleks to the board, which reduces your dice pool for the next time you attempt to resolve a crisis. Failures build on failures just like successes build on successes. You definitely know where the scenario is headed, with no rude "Whoops, you ran out of cards, you lose!" moments or top-deck disappointments. I've won more games than I have lost, but isn't that what you want in a good versus evil science fiction story? Still, I wouldn't mind some additional Time Anomaly cards, preferably with variants to increase or decrease difficulty as desired.
In discussing additional content, it seems that every Doctor Who: The Time of the Daleks review mentions what was advertised as included in the game when it was announced versus what was ultimately delivered. It's true that we are missing all but four Doctors at this point in an effort to control the MSRP, but the game is not broken and it is not incomplete. At least, any more than a game that comes with a 5/6 player expansion post-release ever is. I'm satisfied with the content in the base game, but I am of course looking forward to the announced expansions which will each add two Doctors to the game.
The quantity isn't really the main issue for me - it's the quality. The TARDIS consoles, which act as individual player boards are way too flimsy. I'm not comparing apples to oranges here; the quality is a gross reduction from those found in Gale Force 9's other games like Firefly and Spartacus. The cards are also of suspect quality and come in three different sizes, almost daring you to try to find the right sleeves for all of them. There are also typos, errors, and references to contents that are not in the box.
But there again, the slack quality doesn't interfere with the fun on offer for Whovians. My son plays the game like a true Doctor Who fan. No strategic analysis whatsoever. He picks his favorite available Doctor and pairs them with his favorite companions. He dismisses companions simply because they aren't one of his favorites. It doesn't matter what the rewards are on the planets, he wants to go to Skaro because that's where the Daleks are. He also has the innate ability to roll dice like a god. Granted, when he plays we use the first game set-up, which eliminates some of the more difficult aspects. Still, he usually beats everyone handily in the race to Gallifrey. Luck plays a major part in Doctor Who: The Time of the Daleks, great rolls are generally going to beat great strategy and you'll have to decide how that sits with you.