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...