2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Creepy crawlies, centaurs, killer robot and war...how can you go wrong?,
This review is from: "Doctor Who" - Pest Control (Dr Who Audio Original 1) (Audio CD)
Audiobooks are a great thing. Only recently, have I started getting into them, when the Radio Times gave away free copies of Dr. Who: The Resurrection Casket (without any background music/sound effects). Interested, I put it on my iPod and really enjoyed listening to it.
Wanting to listen to more audiobooks as a result, I learned of Dr. Who: Pest Control (written by Peter Anghelides) and decided to give it a hear. And yet again, I really enjoyed listening to an audiobook and putting it on my iPod.
Set sometime during Series 4 of the TV series, the Doctor and Donna Noble arrive on a distant planet, caught in-between the warring forces of humans and centaur-creatures known as the Acquarby. Unfortunately, things get even more complicated with the arrival of monstrous beetles, that were once human and Acquarby soldiers. If that's not bad enough, the Doctor then loses the TARDIS and gets separated from Donna, who (with nowhere else to go) is forced to fight with the human forces. Then a remorseless, robotic exterminator arrives to destroy the planet infestation, not at all caring who or what gets in its way.
What makes this particular audiobook unique is that it isn't a direct reading from any Doctor Who novel. Pest Control is a story done exclusively for audio, and that makes it all the more special.
Starting with the story, Peter Anghelides has crafted an excellent Who tale, with everything we come to expect featuring the Doctor; excitement, danger, clash of ideals, dark secrets and history, the test of the Doctor's companion`s courage, likeable guest characters and suspicious, insidious adversaries.
Highlights of Anghelides' story include the Acquarby, who are an interesting species. Their leader, Commander Perdova is a stern, but good-hearted character and there are funny moments between him and the Doctor, who makes some bad horse-gags at the Acquarby's expense. Perdova's annoyance with the Time Lord's humour makes for good laughs and I really liked how eventually, he warms to the Doctor's chirpy, joking nature.
For the human side of things, General Brudge remains a fierce, bullish, tyrannical character and ergo, not THAT interesting. On the other hand, the journalist Nash and surgeon Lenova remain deeply enigmatic characters with their own agendas, and are thus excellent. Lieutenant Yovich is also a good character with likeable humour and a sense of honour.
The background of the giant insects and their robotic terminator is also a fascinating one and made believable by the circumstances, and the Doctor remains as excellent as ever, but the highlight of the whole story I would say...is Donna. Her situation here provides a true test for her ability to cope and to help those around her. And as such, she handles herself brilliantly here, once again showing how effective and brilliant a companion she truly was, noticing things even the Doctor can't and being brave and supportive throughout. Her befriending of one of the soldiers in the platoon makes for a real, heart-warming and ultimately tragic moment. It all makes Pest Control a superb tale.
David Tennant once again shows his remarkable gift for narration. He performs the Doctor just as he does on television and also does a rather good impersonation of Catherine Tate when voicing Donna. As well as giving all the other characters greatly distinctive voices, Tennant will have you hooked on every word when narrating the story. Be it action or interaction, he makes it all so captivating and exciting.
The music and sound effects are also something to praise this CD for. They really do add to the drama of the story, particularly during the moments when the robot exterminator attacks, the insect transformations occur and the conflict between the humans and the Acquarby. The music themes sent chills down my spine, and that coupled with David Tennant's narration, compliments Peter Anghelides' story, resulting in a thrilling audiobook.
I would really recommend Doctor Who: Pest Control. Fans of these audiobooks won't be disappointed, and in my opinion, neither will those who haven't exposed themselves (much) to audiobooks before. Brilliant stuff.