on 16 March 2011
Meera Syal narrates this story, and she does it very well, putting life and heart into the characters, sounding like she enjoyed herself reading this story.
The story itself is set on an alien planet, on a spaceship about to set off for earth with a brand new product....a new handwash with remarkable properties. As well as getting your hands really clean, it enables you to understand and speak every language in the universe. Unfortunately, the creator of this Gemini product failed to test it on human beings....
The effects of this handwash on humans is startling and horrific, and is passed on through contact, thus spreading frighteningly quickly. Predictably enough, the Doctor and Amy become separated, and they both know that in time Amy will not be able to avoid infection herself.... and there is no known cure.
This story is exciting and fast paced, the action starting straight away never stopping, with vivid insight into the Doctor's lightening quick mind as well as those of the Gemini victims themselves.
I heartily recommend this cd, but when you buy it, listen to it properly without other distractions, or you'll miss something!
on 23 March 2013
Gemini Handwash: A Babel Fish in a lotion!
The innovative achievement of a Universal Translator in a beauty product has the Doctor heading off with Amy to congratulate the inventors and learn just how they have managed to create such a marvel. But with the first shipment already on its way to Earth, the Doctor discovers a rather unexpected, and unpleasant, side-effect that could spel something rather more than a simple marketing disaster should it reach its destination.
This story has all the classic elements: excitement, adventure, action, pathos, hubris, faintly ludicrous security guards doing stupid things, faintly arrogant scientists doing even more stupid things, the Doctor, Companion and TARDIS all being separated while the opening theme is still echoing in your ears... The list goes on. Jason Arnopp has managed to squeeze in most of the tropes you would expect to find in a traditional Doctor Who story, and crucially, has managed to do it WELL.
With no Rory to swell the numbers, the narrative keeps to only two fairly simple strands, the Doctor and Amy each having to deal with their myriad issues, in a lab and on a spaceship respectively, on their own. Neither get much help from the guest cast, who seem to be far too depressed, angry or overly familiar, to be of any real use. And why is everyone talking all the time, can't they just listen for once?
AudioGO's policy of using apparently random, but very talented, guest cast from the new TV series has really helped what is already an enormously fun story. Meera Syal uses her versatile acting skills to give us a good range of distinct voices and accents, being the first to actually give us a close approximation of Karen Gillan's Amy, and for once, everyone is clearly defined, making the story so much easier to follow. I must confess though, I never thought of the 11th Doctor as having a faintly Brummie accent...
Another Doctor Who talking book telling an all new story for the Eleventh Doctor and his companion Amy Pond.
It runs for seventy nine minutes approx and is complete on a single cd. It's basically one long episode and the only breaks in it are the usual cd chapter ones.
Minimal sleeve notes give the writing and production credits and advertise other bbc Doctor Who products.
And it's read by actress Meera Syal, who appeared in the show on tv in the eleventh Doctor episodes 'the hungry earth' and 'cold blood.'
The story sees the Doctor get involved when an intergalactic corporation develop a new anti viral handwash which has an interesting side effect. It's been laced with an alien organism that leaves people able to speak every language there is. But of course it has side effects, which leave people trying to speak in all languages at the same time. And thus not get anything across. And they also pass the effect on by touch.
Separated from each other and stranded on a huge spaceship carrying the handwash in it's cargo bay which is locked on course for Earth, the Doctor and Amy have to fight to survive and save the day. But as the infection slowly spreads throughout the beings on board, difficult choices await.
These audios can't do anything that has a bearing on tv continuity so they can never amount to anything earth shattering. What they have to do is to try and tell a decent story. And give the listener some delights on the way. Meera Syal takes a few minutes to get into her stride but once she does she becomes a good reader, clearly enjoying telling the story. She provides a good range of accents for the interestingly diverse supporting cast of characters. The american is a bit cliched as is the nasty corporate boss, but the welsh lady and the mexican man in particular are rather good.
The central threat is quite original and the story does justify it's length by escalating it in the middle. Into something that does become rather scary, particularly as you hear people fall prey to it.
It does also throw in some moral food for thought that leaves the listener thinking about the issues raised. Which is as it should be.
The final resolution is a little rushed and simple, but that's a minor complaint.
It's nothing special but it's a little above average, and a decent time passer.
In answer to the query raised on the other review: the cd is 803.9MB
on 21 February 2012
I'm not really an audiobook person - I prefer to read books - but I was given this for Christmas and I thought I'd give it a try. The plot's really good, the sounds are creepy and it's read really well. If you like Doctor Who, I recommend you get this.