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March of the Steel Giants
on 21 August 2010
The Doctor Who talking book range from the BBC resumes with the first title to feature the Eleventh Doctor.
This is an all new story never seen or heard in any other format, and it's complete in approx eighty minutes on one single disc. There's no breaks at all in the middle of the story, the only breaks of any kind on the disc being cd chapters.
There are minimal sleeve notes giving all the production credits, a brief description of the story and a list of other Doctor Who audios from the BBC.
This story is read by Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory on the show. Although his character doesn't feature in this one.
It sees the TARDIS arrive on the Orkney Islands from now, just when locals are protesting about a power company building new electricity pylons there.
All of which is interrupted when a large opening in the ground suddenly appears. Then the pylons start to move of their own accord.
The Doctor and Amy are separated. They and the locals have a fight for survival on their hands. For things are going inside the company that spell danger for the entire planet...
Arthur Darvill does a very good reading, doing a pretty good imitation of the voices of the two main character and providing some decent and varied accents for the others. The sound design and minimal use of music really do create an excellent atmosphere that makes you feel as if you're on a windswept island hearing great big steel objects moving.
The other supporting characters are nothing special but they're ordinary people thrust into an extraordinary situation and that comes over well.
And the villains of the piece do manage to be slightly different from the norm in a couple of respects.
This is not a bad story at all, and the setting and the detail are very engrossing for the first half. It's just that it gets into more familiar territory in the second half that makes it not too different from a lot of similar material in the book and audio range. Amy also is rather sidelined by the story, but does get one good bit of action at one key point.
The kind of thing you'd rate 7.5/10. Not the best in this range, but it's a decent enough listen and it will help pass the time nicely enough till the show returns to our screens.