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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) (Audio CD)
Eleventh and last release in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series of Doctor Who talking books. These are a range that feature a different Doctor in each release, with stories that stand largely alone but have a linking theme running through them. All of which has been designed to pay off in this story.
How did I get a copy of this?!? Although Audiogo, who released the other ten stories for the bbc, have gone into administration, the whole series was produced under licence for them by Big Finish Productions. And you can obtain a copy via their website.
It features the Eleventh Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith on TV [Don't start! This was written before Destiny of the Doctor was shown]. It's read by Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara on TV. She also does all the voices, save for a couple of them, which are done by guest actors.
The story runs for just under seventy minutes, and is basically one long episode. The only breaks on the disc are the usual cd chapter ones.
Minimal sleeve notes give information about the era of the show that the story comes from, and other Big Finish products.
It is to be noted that although this story is designed to stand alone, and wrap up the linking theme as well, it would probably be possible to get into it if you haven't heard the other eleven. But if that's the case, one big plot development won't have the impact on you that it would otherwise. So hear the other ten first.
The story is set in Oxford, in the present day. The main character is Alice Watkins, a young graduate and physicist. She is assisting a professor who has built a time machine.
But when a strange man in a bow tie arrives, trouble and a lot of new experiences await for Alice. Because the Creevix are coming. And the whole universe faces danger as a result...
Jenna Coleman has a very nice reading voice and this makes for good listening. Alice is a superb character, wholly three dimensional. She's reserved and not outgoing and solely into sciences not fiction, but her backstory is well detailed and she's never a stereotype. Also, since nearly the entire story is seen through her eyes, it makes the Doctor very convincingly alien.
The first half of the story zips along at a very nice pace, with some nice continuity references for those who will recall a certain other Doctor Who story from tv. The Creevix have an excellent voice thanks to some good vocal treatment, and are strong villains.
But then you do have to work on the second half of the story because it does involve a lot of time travels and very clever paradoxes and twists. So it does demand a lot of concentration. The way it ties everything together is nicely done but could overwhelm you on first listen. But then it does allow you the chance to listen to the earlier stories and reappraise them, so there is a fair amount of value in that.
The aforementioned plot development is a nice surprise and something else that ties it all together in a good way. And manages to do the same as the tv special. Celebrate the whole run of the show and look back as well as forwards.
It's just not quite five star material, but it's a decent listen, and a great way to bring this all to a close.
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Initial post: 16 Dec 2013 15:13:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Dec 2013 15:13:55 GMT
Exellent review of this story, I have reviewed the whole set via Big Finish & was a mammoth review, But i like your review as it's very well constructed in the comments you make.
I too gave this four stars as it ws a little bit complex in parts & as you said the listener has to engage fully of the plot points due to the time travel paradoxes.
Exellent stuff Paul.
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