a talking book doctor who cd. read by david tennant, who plays the doctor on tv. This runs for two and a half hours spread over two cd's. It's not an audio play, it's more like one of the current range of doctor who novels, being read out by someone.
The story involves the doctor and current companion donna arriving on a world where humans and a race of alien centaurs are fighting a war. strange things are happening to some of the humans, who are turning into monsters. the tardis is lost. and there's a big robot on the loose that seems intent on killing absolutely everything. can the doctor rescue the tardis, stop the war, and find out what's really going on?
This is not a classic story but it's fine for what it is, and hits all the notes you'd expect in regards to things that happen to the tardis crew. david tennant is an excellent reader and very good to listen to. he narrates in his normal tone, but does the doctor's voice for when that character is talking, and provides different voices for all the other characters. one of them I found slightly too comedic but the rest are very good. his impression of donna does slightly sound like her with a blocked up nose, but it's very good indeed.
there are roughly twenty two tracks on each cd but there are no part breaks in the story so it can be a bit long to listen to in one go. and whilst it's a bit slow to start the pacing does really pick up in the second half. so this is nothing special, but it's a good listen, and it's worth 4/5
Throughout Doctor Who's history `military' stories have cropped up many times. The classic situation being the Doctor and his companion finding themselves in the middle of a conflict between two factions. It's his inquisitiveness and dislike of violence put up against the brash actions of the military forces that make for such powerful storytelling and with `Pest Control', writer Peter Anghelides shows how this concept works just as well on audio.
Take the recent series 4 of Doctor Who for example - In that alone you had the Sontaran two-parter as well as the Doctor's Daughter - both encompassing strong military themes. Thus, `Pest Control' fits very well into the overall feel of series, also in the way it encompasses the grander scale and darker feel of that series. What you immediately notice though is that within the audio format, there is complete freedom to create wondrous worlds and alien races without limitations of budget and this really shows here, the story having an epic feel to it.
Things kick off with the Doctor and Donna landing on a desolate, war-torn planet, caught in a conflict between the centaur-like Aquabi and the human soldiers, the insectoid Serfians being introduced shortly later. The human soldiers are the key focus here, ranging from the down-to-earth grunts, a sneaky reporter type, an uncaring leader and downright sinister medical advisor. Each is explored in fascinating detail, tempers obviously reaching fever point as differing attitudes bounce off each other. Donna herself even gets conscripted up into the armed forces!
On the whole, this is quite a gritty story, featuring themes of racism, descriptions of injuries (neck broken, limbs almost severed), a pretty high death toll and plenty of destruction on a large scale. Another important theme picked up on by the Doctor himself is the very best and very worst that humans can showcase and this idea becomes in many ways the crux of this story.
Of course, as Doctor Who always does so well, this grim backdrop is perfectly balanced against lovely little dashes of lightness with loads of great comedy moments from the Doctor and Donna featuring in this story along with some quaint references to Star Trek and Harry Potter too. It's also interesting to note that that the two actually spend most of this story apart (a good two-thirds at least). This works to the story's strength though, allowing the characters to play to their own personal strengths and really shine.
Another important part of Doctor Who is its absorbance of various influences and working them into new, exciting visions. In `Pest Control' there's a whole host of touchstones, ranging from previous elements of the show itself (there's even a giant robot in this story) to classic sci-fi films like Aliens in the way the insectoid aliens burst out from the unwitting human hosts as well as the clear conflict within the human military itself.
This story flows really well, hooking you right from the start and is excellently paced. Maybe because it was written specifically for audio, this story feels cinematic by the and before long you've reached the terrifying track 11 of part 2, kickstarting an awesome finale.
In terms of production, David Tennant as an absolute joy to listen to as he narrates, conveying the Doctor just as well as he does on TV as well as supplying us with voices for a whole host of memorable supporting characters. There's also lots of nice atmospheric backing music and little touches of sound effects that just really bring out the realism in this story like the scary hisses and clicks of the Serfians.
So, all in all, whether you're a long time fan of Doctor Who or if this is your first taste of the show's audio range, you're in for a real treat with this story!
on 11 March 2009
Although this isn't my favourite audio adventure to feature the Tenth Doctor, Tennant's urgent Scottish Burr breathes life into it and improves it no end. This is the first of three (so far) and is inferior to the masterful 'Forever Trap' and the entertaining 'Nemonite Invasion'. That said, even a below-par Doctor Who story is a treat these days and I would recommend giving this a go.
Pest Control is the first in a new range of original Doctor Who audio books from the BBC. Featuring David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and his travelling companion Donna Noble, the adventure is also voiced by Tennant.
After listening to David narrate some of the audio versions of the Tenth Doctor book range, it seems natural to hear him voice a range of different characters. The story is solid and engaging, telling the story of a war between humans and centaur-like aliens on a remote planet, plus another race of insectoid aliens and an impressively large robot.
Donna Noble takes centre stage as she does in all these original adventures as The Doctor's companion and moral compass, and writer Anghelides captures her persona perfectly, all big heart and bigger mouth.
With plenty of action, including some monumental battle scenes, and a core story of human interest and how one's perception can be radically altered through experience, this is an entertaining if unspectacular new adventure for everybody's favourite Time Lord.
on 27 January 2010
This is one of three David Tennant era Dr Who Audio's I recently purchased (the other being The Nemonite Invasion and the Forever Trap).
David Tennant does a good job reading this and masterfully switches between voices and accents for all the different characters which breathes some much needed life in to this adventure.
For the story itself - the Dr and Donna find themselves in the middle of a warzone and inevitably get caught between the 2 warring parties - a tricky little situation at the best of times but things are only just beginning to get complicated...
Of the 3 audiobooks I bought, for me this one had the weakest storyline however having David Tennant reading helps a great deal to save it. That's not to say it is bad because it's not and I did quite enjoy it, however it tries to fit a lot of characters in and felt a little rushed on occasion. Consequently characters sometimes lacked a depth and you don't really find yourself caring much about them - the ending especially seemed to get resolved just a teensy bit too easily for my tastes.
A decent enough audiobook to pass the time and I've no regrets in buying it...but not something to write home about either.
on 4 August 2008
while this isn't the best story in the history of the new who novels, it certainly kept my interest. i thought david tennant was FANTASTIC at the accents and mannerisms of each character, especially the doctor (of course) and as donna.
i purchased this after series 4 ended to cheer myself up and this book did the trick. if you want to spend some time with donna and the doctor and enjoy a good story, i highly recommend this.
Audiobooks are a great thing. Only recently, have I started getting into them, when the Radio Times gave away free copies of Dr. Who: The Resurrection Casket (without any background music/sound effects). Interested, I put it on my iPod and really enjoyed listening to it.
Wanting to listen to more audiobooks as a result, I learned of Dr. Who: Pest Control (written by Peter Anghelides) and decided to give it a hear. And yet again, I really enjoyed listening to an audiobook and putting it on my iPod.
Set sometime during Series 4 of the TV series, the Doctor and Donna Noble arrive on a distant planet, caught in-between the warring forces of humans and centaur-creatures known as the Acquarby. Unfortunately, things get even more complicated with the arrival of monstrous beetles, that were once human and Acquarby soldiers. If that's not bad enough, the Doctor then loses the TARDIS and gets separated from Donna, who (with nowhere else to go) is forced to fight with the human forces. Then a remorseless, robotic exterminator arrives to destroy the planet infestation, not at all caring who or what gets in its way.
What makes this particular audiobook unique is that it isn't a direct reading from any Doctor Who novel. Pest Control is a story done exclusively for audio, and that makes it all the more special.
Starting with the story, Peter Anghelides has crafted an excellent Who tale, with everything we come to expect featuring the Doctor; excitement, danger, clash of ideals, dark secrets and history, the test of the Doctor's companion`s courage, likeable guest characters and suspicious, insidious adversaries.
Highlights of Anghelides' story include the Acquarby, who are an interesting species. Their leader, Commander Perdova is a stern, but good-hearted character and there are funny moments between him and the Doctor, who makes some bad horse-gags at the Acquarby's expense. Perdova's annoyance with the Time Lord's humour makes for good laughs and I really liked how eventually, he warms to the Doctor's chirpy, joking nature.
For the human side of things, General Brudge remains a fierce, bullish, tyrannical character and ergo, not THAT interesting. On the other hand, the journalist Nash and surgeon Lenova remain deeply enigmatic characters with their own agendas, and are thus excellent. Lieutenant Yovich is also a good character with likeable humour and a sense of honour.
The background of the giant insects and their robotic terminator is also a fascinating one and made believable by the circumstances, and the Doctor remains as excellent as ever, but the highlight of the whole story I would say...is Donna. Her situation here provides a true test for her ability to cope and to help those around her. And as such, she handles herself brilliantly here, once again showing how effective and brilliant a companion she truly was, noticing things even the Doctor can't and being brave and supportive throughout. Her befriending of one of the soldiers in the platoon makes for a real, heart-warming and ultimately tragic moment. It all makes Pest Control a superb tale.
David Tennant once again shows his remarkable gift for narration. He performs the Doctor just as he does on television and also does a rather good impersonation of Catherine Tate when voicing Donna. As well as giving all the other characters greatly distinctive voices, Tennant will have you hooked on every word when narrating the story. Be it action or interaction, he makes it all so captivating and exciting.
The music and sound effects are also something to praise this CD for. They really do add to the drama of the story, particularly during the moments when the robot exterminator attacks, the insect transformations occur and the conflict between the humans and the Acquarby. The music themes sent chills down my spine, and that coupled with David Tennant's narration, compliments Peter Anghelides' story, resulting in a thrilling audiobook.
I would really recommend Doctor Who: Pest Control. Fans of these audiobooks won't be disappointed, and in my opinion, neither will those who haven't exposed themselves (much) to audiobooks before. Brilliant stuff.
on 27 June 2009
It's a nice Dr Who story, especially good as it would be prohibitivly expensive to film! The vocal talents of the reader are used to the full to bring the narative to life; if there's a criticism it's that the story is a little A->B->C even by Dr Who standards, and the ending is more concerned with making a moral point than finishing the story.
But it's a good, entertaining piece and worth the money.