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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute for David Tennant - Celebrating 50 Years of Doctor Who, 31 Oct 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) (Audio CD)
Well! October's been one heck of a month for me. I've recently been to `Newcastle' for a Doctor Who convention, and only just recently Big Finish have released early their 50th anniversary special `The Light At The End' which I'm looking forward to listening to.

This month of course is time to celebrate one of the best Doctors ever from the new series - David Tennant who played the Tenth Doctor. He's one of my absolute favourites. David has enchanted and enthralled many audiences of `Doctor Who' with his outgoing and reassuring spirit and is certainly one of the most human-like Doctors ever to be portrayed in the series. I've been fortunate to have watched all the way through his third series of Doctor Who which was Series 4 in 2008.

There have been many great stories with the Tenth Doctor such as 'Rise of the Cybermen'/'The Age of Steel'; 'Army of Ghosts'/'Doomsday'; 'Utopia'/'The Sound of Drums'/'Last of the Time Lords' and 'The Stolen Earth'/'Journey's End'. He's also had some of the best companions including Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and many others including Kylie Minoque who played Astrid Peth in 'Voyage of the Damned'. The Tenth Doctor era was a magical and brilliant era of Doctor Who for me. I miss it to bits and I still don't want David Tennant `to go'.

We now come to talk about the penultimate adventure of the `Destiny of the Doctor' series - `Death's Deal' by Darren Jones. As before with all previous Destiny releases (previously 'Night of the Whisper'), this is read by one person involved in the TV series and a guest artist providing the voice(s) for the supporting character(s). This time we're back to having a companion narrating this story and it's none other than Catherine Tate (who played super-temp from Chiswick - Donna Noble). Catherine is supported in this story by Duncan Wisbey who plays two characters in this - the alien Krux and Professor Merrit Erskine.

In this story, the Doctor and Donna respond to a series of distress calls coming from the planet Death's Deal. As they're on the planet, they come across a group of space tourists and two merchant space pirates and have to escape the deadly traps on the planet as well as deadly creatures and recover the TARDIS which has been swallowed up by a deadly beast. But as the Doctor soon discovers, there's far more deadly when they go deeper into the heart of the planet as something horrifying is buried underneath.

I found the idea of people being sent off to their deaths on the planet Death's Deal when ships crash-land as technology is literally 'alien' to the planet very intriguing and frightening. It's adds to the tension to the story when technology by people is used on Death's Deal and they get killed instantly whether by natural disaster or monstrous being.

Catherine Tate is wonderful in this. It was such a thrill to hear her Donna again after so long. I remember loving every minute of watching her first appearance in 'The Runaway Bride' and being able to watch her series with David Tennant's Doctor in 2008. 2008 definitely was a good year for me as a Doctor Who fan and Series 4 was one of my absolute favourite viewing pleasures. I'm sure Catherine was delighted to be playing Donna Noble again. I've heard Catherine doing one of these audios before since she did 'The Forever Trap' and 'The Nemonite Invasion'. This however has got to be Catherine's first Big Finish audio she's done apart from AudioGo.

Catherine has done a remarkable job in bringing back Donna as I remember her from the series, with her rough no-nonsense attitude and trivia knowledge (calling one of the lady aliens `Pocahontas' and mentioning a Tom Hanks movie made me laugh) as well as her compassionate and caring side when in the face of danger. I really like it when Donna gets to have an adventure with Krux as they go down into tunnel underground and they have to try and locate the TARDIS. My favourite scene is where Donna has to hide in Krux's body to avoid getting killed by a deathworm and she goes `you've got to be kidding me! I can't hide in there'. Donna also uses her temping skills when she finds the TARDIS and flicks switches and presses all buttons to send a signal to the Doctor.

I'm really glad they decided to ask Catherine to do this audio and it's clear she gets on so well with David Tennant's Doctor and does a really good interpretation of him. She's also done really well in providing voices for some of the other characters including the arrogant Tad Groogan and the sweet but rather icy Lyric Erskine.

Duncan Wisbey is also very good in this story too. I've heard him doing a number of Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton audios including `The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories' and `Heroes of Sontar' as well as reading a Big Finish short strip for subscribers called `Lant Land'. Here he's doing two characters unlike previous guest artists in `Destiny' series.

The first character he plays is Krux, who is like an alien walking `barnacle' as Donna calls him with tentacles. I love it when Krux saves the Doctor and Donna falling down into a landslide or cavern by using his tentacles and love his scenes with Donna when they have to work together. The second character he plays is a contrast to Krux - Professor Merrit Erskine. Erskine is a human who's been on the planet for such a long time and is mentally deranged and obsessed with being the `ruler of paradise' or something like that. I found the scenes heart-breaking when he doesn't or won't recognise and accept her daughter Lyric and was horrified when he goes to great lengths to kill people like Groogan with `slaughter crystals'.

Darren Jones wrote this story for the Tenth Doctor. I don't know much about his writing other than he's done some Eleventh Doctor audiobooks including `The Eye of the Jungle'. But he's done a remarkable job in recreating the Tenth Doctor superbly with its fast-paced storytelling and dynamic characters. I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote another story for the Tenth Doctor again, and I hope that will be soon. I hope Russell T Davies will be pleased with this story.

Just to mention, hearing Murray Gold's crazy bash-boom-wallop theme music from the 2008 series sent me back into the Tenth Doctor era superbly when listening to that story from beginning to end. It's one of my favourite Doctor Who themes, and listening to some of the music on this story sent me back to the Tenth Doctor era.

As we get close to the end of the Destiny series, the involvement of the Eleventh Doctor gets more exciting with each release. I love it when the Doctor goes `What? What?!' when he discovers a message from the Eleventh Doctor and Donna and Lyric's reaction to him. And since the Tenth Doctor is going to meet up with the Eleventh Doctor in the upcoming 50th anniversary special on telly, he's bound to recognise by this point. I'm intrigued now as to why Eleven wants Ten to keep a certain Erskine alive by the end of this story and why `slaughter crystals' must be alerted to the galactic government.

`Death's Deal' has been a truly thrilling and enjoyable audio story to listen to. It has all the elements of the Tenth Doctor in there from sonic screwdriver, pinstripe suit to `Allons-sy' and is certain a full on action packed adventure. With truly wonderful narration from Catherine Tate, this story has definitely got to be a true celebration for one of the most well-loved eras of Doctor Who since it's revival. An era that I've enjoyed watching and lived through as I got into the series from its inception in the 21st century. I truly miss that era and it's such a delight to be celebrating David Tennant's Doctor in this way. I'm sure Russell T. Davies will approve. Great story with the Doctor and Donna and I'm about to write an adventure with the two of them myself to celebrate the Tenth Doctor era.

Be warned! We're coming to the end. Next up it's 'The Time Machine' with Matt Smith's Doctor.

The next story with the Doctor and Donna is 'Silence In The Library'/'Forest of the Dead'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Planet of Death, 12 Oct 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) (Audio CD)
Tenth release in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series. These are a range of eleven Doctor Who talking books that feature a different Doctor in each one. And tell an all new story for the character that has never appeared before in any other medium.

Each one so far has stood entirely on it's own, but there is a linking theme to each. This theme occasionally drives the story, or just happens to feature. All of this should come together in the eleventh release, but each of the first ten can be heard without you needing to have listened to any of the others.

This one runs for just over sixty eight minutes [approx] and is complete on a single cd. It's basically one long episode, the only breaks in it being the usual cd chapter ones.

The format of the range sees an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv reading the story in the third person, and also doing the voices, save for a couple which are read by a guest actor.

Minimal sleeve notes give details of the era of the show that the story is set in, and advertise other bbc Doctor Who products.

This being a Tenth Doctor story, it's read by Catherine Tate. Who played Donna Noble opposite David Tennant on screen.

The story sees the TARDIS answer a distress call from the planet Death's Deal. The deadliest planet in the galaxy, and home to lots of very exotic and dangerous plants and creatures.

Also there are a group of space tourists. Marooned, they plus the Doctor and Donna are forced to investigate the planet further. But which is more dangerous? The planet, certain of the tourists, or what lurks beneath the surface?

This range strives hard to recreate the feel of each era. And it does it superbly. Once you hear the rendition of the theme tune that was used at the time, plus certain catchphrases and Donna taking no nonsense from anyone, it's like it's 2008 all over again.

Certain things you would expect the Doctor to say and do crop up, but they are a homage to the time rather than a cliche and delightful to hear because of that.

Catherine Tate is a very good reader, without ever being over dramatic or too loud. She's also very good at coming up with original and alien voices.

The setting is a superb creation. A very alien world. More so than we've ever had on tv, thus it uses the freedom of the audio medium to full effect. But also something you feel that the production team of the time wouldn't have been adverse to trying.

It's a strong script which brings on plot developments and twists at just the right point to keep it all moving alog nicely. And it's the right length at just close to seventy minutes, which makes it well paced.

The linking theme, as ever, is always a delight.

A good strong story and a very good recreation of a very popular era. It's well worth a listen.

Next month: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor), where it will all come together...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Donna and the Doctor visit a voracious planet., 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) (Audio CD)
It is difficult, perhaps, to imagine an actor who has played one of the Doctor's companions more suited to this particular series than Catherine Tate. Like all the previous instalments of `The Destiny of the Doctor', bar the last, the narration and most of the roles are played by a former companion. As an accomplished voice artist Tate rises to the occasion perfectly; providing an array of voices that include a pretty good Tenth Doctor and a more than adequate Eleventh.

The title is somewhat of a misnomer, Death's Deal actually being the name of a planet, albeit a planet with a dangerous reputation. Having the planet itself as the threat, although not entirely original in Doctor Who, is still an interesting concept that works. The Doctor and Donna find themselves in a world where, for reasons to be revealed, everything wants to kill them. Mixed up in this is a group of stranded tourists. This quickly develops the story into one of those plots where individuals in the group are killed off one by one as they try to escape. It is a tried and tested formula and it is thankfully done quite well here.

Much of the action is divided between Donna and the Doctor who, maybe a little predictably, become separated. This provides some great interaction between Donna and Krux (who is quite a novel alien) and allows Lyric to fit into a de-facto companion role with the Doctor.

Although many of the characters are only about for a limited time there is quite a good spectrum of aliens and personalities. Erksine (if that's how it is spelt) also promises some sort of link with the final story in the series.

With a solid plot and some great characters this is one of the stronger offerings in the range. And if the return of Catherine Tate isn't enough, this audio also provides some preview interaction between the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors a few weeks before `The Day of the Doctor'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, clear voices and exciting story line!, 9 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) (Audio CD)
Really enjoyed listening this great story, Catherine Tate really got on well with David Tenant and the writers knowing that The doctor and Donna had a friendship relationship, always gave them great jokey lines so they could bounce off each other. You can tell when Tate plays The doctor the mutual respect and friendship that was present. had to lisen to the end in one go, could not pause.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Donna! Back together again!, 18 Nov 2013
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) (Audio CD)
As the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who draws ever nearer, the BBC and Whovians alike are determined to celebrate in every way conceivable. Obviously, we're counting down to that fateful Day of the Doctor, but Big Finish & AudioGo seem equally determined to honour the Time Lord's history with the upcoming audio drama, The Light at the End, and with Destiny of the Doctor here.

Destiny of the Doctor is an 11-part series that's been going on since January this year, each chapter focusing accordingly on the Doctor's different incarnations i.e Part 1 William Hartnell, Part 2 Patrick Troughton, Part 3 John Pertwee and so on.

As I've said before in previous Doctor Who-related reviews, my favourite Doctor & Companion were No. 10 and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). Their relationship & adventures made Series 4 my all-time favourite, and have always felt that at least another series could've been made with the Doctor & Donna. Ergo, I've always jumped at the chance to discover more stories of this wonderful pairing, hence my purchase of novels (i.e. Beautiful Chaos) and audiobooks (i.e. The Forever Trap), so I purchased Death's Deal and was not disappointed at all.

Death's Deal captures all the elements that made this particular of Doctor Who so endearing. The Series 4 theme music is used, the Tenth Doctor/Donna relationship (and characters) are written down to a tee, and the whole atmosphere of their adventure here is done in the spirit of Russell T Davies. Darren Jones has written an audio drama here that's most worthy of the original source material, and those who loved Series 4 will love this just as easily.

Still in the midst of their happy days, the Doctor & Donna land on the planet Death's Deal following a flood of distress calls. The TARDIS lands on a planet filled with terrifying creatures and a mishmashed bunch of alien tourists. The time-travellers soon uncover all kinds of ulterior motives, a sinister secret...and an important task the Doctor's future will depend on.

In the context of this Destiny of the Doctor series, Death's Deal works well indeed. If you pick up this particular CD and haven't picked up any of the previous entries, then you'll be fine. Death's Deal stands alone as a genuinely exciting tale that's laced with a splendid soundtrack, terrific sound effects and all the stuff you'd expect from a classic episode. It's so easy to visualise in your mind's eye that it's just like watching a lost episode from Series 4.

But it also seems to slot in well with the overall spectrum of this Destiny series. There's a big surprise mid-way through that makes this (seemingly) individual chapter integral to the whole saga. It's a welcome turning-point, one that feels natural and not in the least bit forced. As such, it makes me feel intrigued to check out other entries in this audio series.

Of course, Catherine Tate deserves props for reprising her role as beloved super-temp Donna Noble. She settles comfortably right back into her old role and performs with unchanged flourish. As she's proven in the past, Catherine is versatile in voicing the other characters so distinctly, and does a very good impersonation of David Tennant. Guest-star Duncan Wisbey is simply awesome as Crux, helping to make a colourful character even more so. Duncan is just wonderful, and when paired with Catherine, the two converse in such brilliant, heartfelt moments that make this all the more endearing.

Admittedly, this isn't the greatest Doctor Who audio outing I've ever experienced (Dan Abnett's The Forever Trap from 2008 is still my favourite), but Death's Deal is certainly very strong with very little wrong. On it's own, I love it, and yeah...I'm keen to check out other entries in the Destiny of the Doctor. Fans of the David/Catherine series will not be disappointed. For Who fans overall...very much worth purchasing.
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Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10)
Doctor Who: Death's Deal (Destiny Of The Doctor 10) by Darren Jones (Audio CD - 3 Oct 2013)
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