Another Doctor Who talking book from the bbc, telling an all new story that's not appeared in any other medium before.
It features the Eleventh Doctor and Amy. And for the first time in this range, Rory as well.
Minimal sleeve notes give copyright details and production credits, and advertise other bbc doctor who products.
The other Eleventh Doctor talking books have all been single cd's, but this is a double length story spread over two discs. Each disc runs a little over forty five minutes approx. And they're basically one long episode - with a cliffhanger at the end of the first one. The only breaks during them are the usual cd chapter ones.
For those who like to put these things on portable devices: disc one is 459.4 mb and disc two 485.6 mb.
The story is read by David Troughton, son of Patrick and occasional guest star on the show down the years.
It is set in the Amazon rainforest, in 1827. The opening of part one is nicely atmospheric, using nothing but sound for the first minute. Once the TARDIS has arrived the three travellers find themselves in danger and then meet an expedition that is collecting creatures for the soon to open London Zoo. It's two leaders, a naturalist and a soldier, both have slightly different approaches.
But there are other hunters in the jungle. Beings have vanished, and the locals live in fear.
Can the Doctor find what lurks in the heart of the jungle?
The extra length of this one does allow it a nice amount of time to really add some depth and create character and setting. That does mean that precious little happens in the middle of part one, whilst the Doctor and friends are getting to know the locale and the people, but it's still absorbing enough. Thanks to some capable sound design and subtle use of background music.
Once things are revealed at the end of part one and the villains of the piece come into play we are into slightly more conventional territory. But even so, this does use the audio medium to it's fullest, creating characters and scenery that really couldnt be done on tv even with a huge budget for cgi.
One of the supporting cast has a very good and credible story arc, and Amy and Rory do get a great share of the action.
David Troughton is a very good reader, and doesn't try to impersonate all the characters. This takes some getting used to in regards to the Doctor but he does come up with good voices for most of the supporting ones.
This is nothing earth shatteringly original in terms of story but it's a good listen with a good amount of detail, and the best Eleventh Doctor talking book so far.
on 23 March 2013
When the Doctor, Amy and Rory encounter a recently abandoned camp deep in the Amazon Rainforest, they soon find themselves under attack from some of the local wildlife. Rescued from uncertain death by another expedition, they are taken back to the local village, where, apart from discovering it is now base to a mercenary expedition there to collect animals for private buyers, they learn that more than just another expedition has vanished recently. People and animals are falling prey to the 'Eye of the Jungle'...
Another solid story, this particular adventure has clealy had some thought put into the detail: basing it in the nineteenth century simplifies a great deal of potential issues over missing expeditions, hunting laws etc, while the internal logic to the characters and situations manages to hold up better than most. However, it is not all good news.
Slightly longer than others in the range, this story has been split into two parts, a fairly arbitrary cliffhanger being created to allow it to spread across two discs. This seriously damages the story's otherwise excellent pacing. Also, while the extra length has been utilised to allow for the story to be told more effectively, there is plenty of extra space that could have been used to extend the story further, developing the characters more and building them up to be more than the fairly stock caricatures they have ended up as.
David Troughton is a slightly odd choice for narrator, his style and voice much more suited to classic series adventures, but he works surprisingly well, if only in highlighting how much his father's era on the series has influenced the current one!
Generally good, but has potential to have been better.
on 12 March 2012
The sign of an outstanding audio release is the unnerving feeling that time has incredulously vanished or contracted as you listen, and with Darren Jones' first NEW SERIES tie-in audio, DOCTOR WHO - THE EYE OF THE JUNGLE is one such release. The 90-minute two-disc David Troughton narrated story seems to have been condensed to a heart-racing thirty minutes.
Blink and you'll miss it.
Driven by the endearing tones of David Troughton (following his excellent reading of DOCTOR WHO - THE WAR GAMES - read the review here), Jones' unceremoniously drops the listener in the middle of the overgrown Amazon rainforest at the start of the 19th century. Teaming with aggressive life forms - both animal and human - the Doctor, Amy and hapless Rory (yes, if you are missing the running joke about which surname the married couple have adopted then you're in for a treat here) have to keep their wits as sharp as a Janis thorn (more information here) as they battle the enemy within and above.
Amy and Rory (together): Williams!
As the jungle echoes with both organic and technologically sounds only to be abbreviated with the familiar wheezing groaning of the TARDIS, the opening sequence can be likened to Spielberg's JURASSIC PARK as a trio of huntingVelociraptor outwits the park's Warden, Robert Muldoon but, thankfully, without the grusesome denouement courtesy of a couple of takeway sausage in a bun. Thrilling set-up but the yet has yet to come.
The plot is carefully delineated - my seven year old followed it without further discussion - and separated into "two-parts" across the two discs.
A hunting (read: collecting) expedition, lead by blustering Oliver Blazington aims to draw together a menagerie of creatures for the newly established London Zoological Garden in addition to satisfying his philanthropic enterprise in supplying exotic life for private collectors. However, as in all good DOCTOR WHO comeuppance plotline twists, the hunter eventually becomes the hunted but how safe are our intrepid Time Travellers? Is the Doctor, as the "last of the Time Lords", the most "collectable species of the jungle?
Restrained in "acting" every single role, David Troughton is reassuringly avuncular, guiding the listening through the unceasing action and even has time to verbally revisit the CLASSIC SERIES story for which he played a lead role within (THE CURSE OF PELADON). The author's reference by Troughton may go over the head of younger fans but the more mature fan will develop a wry smile.
Unsurprisingly, Troughton's delivery is so evocative of his father that, at times, you sink back into the sofa thinking that he is narrating a 2nd Doctor audiobook (and that the script editor had accidentally inserted Amy and Rory's name instead for Zoë Herriot and Jamie McCrimmon). Even Darren Jones' phrasing for the 11th Doctor is so similar to the expectation of Patrick Troughton's characterisation. Glorious.
AUDIOGO's exclusive to audio, DOCTOR WHO - THE EYE OF THE JUNGLE is an excellent diversion from the (too) complicated, rowdy television series as it retains the essence of the NEW SERIES but incorporates the values of the CLASSIC SERIES in perfect balance.