Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to Me!, 23 Mar 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion (Dr Who) (Audio CD)
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...
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Initial post: 29 Jun 2013 19:48:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2013 20:09:07 BDT
The audio quality of performance is satisfactory. Meera Syal as always is skilled and very expressive in her performances, but there is a downside..... I have to agree with the previous post before the last one.... I am simply tired of this type of Dr Who story, the writer writes well enough, but his desire to be clever and satirical left me cold like a babel fish! I do think that the writer has absorbed too much Douglas Adams to be seen as original, and to be honest if you can read Douglas Adams or listen to his Hitchhiker's Guide as I have done on many occasions then you don't need a second class copy. I have to confess that I am from the old school of Dr Who, when character and story were the key elements to a good Dr Who tale, this is no Talons of Weng Chiang, I dare say that many would conclude that I am out of touch with what makes a good story, but I am a reader of classic literature, and just took an interest in this after a recommendation. But I do yearn for the days when stories had a strong start, a middle and a conclusive end, but then I am a fan of Syd Field; a master script writer and a man who knows how to structure things skillfully. I suppose I can expect little more than pulp fiction and comic strip these days when it comes to an old favourite like Dr Who, but I guess this type of thing is progress, and literature will continue along the slippery path to its own demise. I shall continue to grasp my copy of Treasure Island tightly to my chest in hope that Jason Arnopp picks it up and learns from it the technique of structure, character and quality story telling!
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Location: Worcestershire, UK

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