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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar whilst original, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Shockwave (Destiny of the Doctor 7) (Audio CD)
`Shockwave' successfully manages to achieve the authentic feel of Sylvester McCoy's tenure as the Doctor as well as provide a story that is new and a little different for the Seventh Doctor. It would be all too easy to assume from the opening stages that this audiobook would be a pretty standard story typical of the Seventh Doctor's era. It soon becomes something more akin to more recent Who. It has several similarities to `The Impossible Planet', `42' and `The Rings of Akhaten'. It may, on occasion, take a bit too much influence from these though.

There is no alien menace in this story. With an exploding sun threatening to engulf a world and the ships escaping from it, this is Doctor Who does a disaster movie. The story essentially involves the Doctor and Ace attempting to rescue the final escaping vessel, the Obscura, from destruction at the hands of the eponymous shockwave sent forth from the dying sun.

This story probably lends itself to the format of this series better than most. The technique of narrating events from the perspective of a particular companion works exceptionally well here. The Doctor spends a fair amount of time lurking as a presence in the background whilst Ace is left to push the story on not knowing quite what the Doctor is up to or might be planning. This certainly captures the style and atmosphere of many of the Seventh Doctor television adventures. Sophie Aldred's performance of Ace certainly portrays all the character traits that make this work. She projects the ideal balance of naivety, positivity and faith in the Doctor.

Aldred seems to put a lot of effort into her impersonation of the Doctor but the Scottish accent she affects sometimes sounds more comical than like Sylvester McCoy. Her 9J (and I assume she is also playing that role) is superb though. She quickly helps create a very believable character despite the somewhat unbelievable situation surrounding 9J. The dialogue between Ace and her certainly feels like there are two actors involved.

The Eleventh Doctor makes his expected appearance as he does throughout the series. This time he actually appears to give his former self a mission, much as he did in the previous story, `Trouble in Paradise'. It becomes much clearer in this story that he is working to some obscure agenda, although we are no closer to knowing what that is. This audiobook does manage to stir more interest in what appears to be the thread running through the series.

Although occasionally predictable this is a well paced and tense story (the soundtrack and audio effects greatly add to the atmosphere and tension) and it is a good choice to represent the Seventh Doctor and Ace well for this anniversary series.
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