6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The best Doctor Who book out there - bar none!,
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Prisoner of the Daleks (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
How could any Doctor Who fan not like a story about the Tenth Doctor joining forces with a small but ruthless crew of Dalek hunters as he once again takes on his most iconic & deadly foe? Somehow he has arrived just before the Time War began, so has an opportunity to do a lot of good. But as you can tell from the title, things don't exactly go smoothly...
It has all the usual elements of a good Who story - seemingly unstoppable enemies, sonic screwdrivering aplenty, quirky lines & the Doctor preaching morality to his allies as they go about killing & torturing the creatures who slaughtered their families. Yet it doesn't seem clichéd or repetitive at all. It's actually very compelling & adds a lot of background to the Daleks, while remaining completely faithful to the Whoniverse. For instance, we are told that at full power, a Daleks' gun can atomise a human instantly but instead they use just enough energy to kill them over a couple of seconds, inflaming the nervous system & inflicting the maximum amount of pain on their victims. Social workers they ain't. However, its main strength has to be the continual battle of wits between The Doctor & his plunger-bearing foes as they lay subtle traps for each other like chess grandmasters, where you're never quite sure who's fooling who. Forget sci-fi shows from times gone by where supposedly intelligent characters do incredibly daft things to enable the hero to win - here the Daleks represent a believable threat.
Trevor Baxendale's writing is superb. I've tried a few Doctor Who audiobooks & much as I hate to say it, most seem to be derivative cash-ins, nowhere near up to the standard of the TV series. But this tears strips off the awful Winston Churchill episodes with the Alpha Romeo Dalek Mark II's - what a pity they didn't film this instead.
I listened to the audiobook version (which is unabridged BTW, running to approx. 5 hours) & Nicholas Briggs' voice is spot on. As the voice of the Daleks in the TV series, here he really brings them to life, their loud, imperious screech making me jump every time it came through my speakers. Not only that but being the producer of all the Doctor Who audio output, he knows a few things about narration, perfectly capturing David Tennant's speech patterns. In this case, I would definitely recommend the audio version over the text - it really adds something quite special.
This is an extremely enjoyable, faithful Doctor Who story, with action & moral questions aplenty. If you're looking to get into the Doctor Who books & audiobooks, start here - with the best.