"Doctor Who": Dead Air: (10th Doctor, Audio Original) Audio CD – Audiobook, 4 Mar 2010
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Loaded with tension and scares -- Dunmow Broadcast, March 18, 2010
... there are some great lines and Tennant's voice work is a delight -- SFX, May 2010
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This follows a slightly different format to the previous releases in this range because ir's only one disc long rather than two, featuring two episodes that run for roughly thirty five minutes each.
And it's formatted slightly differently also, because it's presented - via a short announcement at the beginning - as being a recording found on a sunken vessel. Which turns out to have been made by the Doctor. The Doctor tells the tale of how he arrived on a pirate radio vessel in the 1960's, on the trail of a living weapon called the hush. This kills anything that issues a sound.
David Tennant thus reads the whole thing in character, but as before also provides voices for the supporting characters.
This follows the classic doctor who format of an isolated place coming under attack from alien menace. The Doctor works alongside a liverpudlian girl called Layla to find the hush. She's quite an appealing character, having a lot of common sense and a determined attitude.
The whole setting is very convincing really feeling like it's set in the sixties, thanks not least to references of audio technology of the time. And what will follow.
Once you get past all the set up in part one you do then find yourself waiting for something to happen as the Doctor and Layla are searching the boat for their quarry. But then a very good cliffhanger provides the jolt the story requires.
It gets even better in part two, though, as it uses the format of audio to it's full effect. This would be a hard story to do on tv. There's a subtle air of menace to part two, which makes it just the kind of thing to listen to on long winter evenings with the curtains drawn and the lights down low. And there are a few good surprises and plot developments you won't see coming along the way.
It does also go nicely against cliche at the end. The Doctor saying something a little different to what he usually does when he resolves things.
Do also be sure to play the cd to the very end of the final track.
Short and sweet and one more tenth doctor story. Well worth a listen.
1 - because it was an extra story snuck in about the tenth Doctor and
2 (or b) - because it was an extra story told by the tenth Doctor himself, and I don't just mean it was David Tennant reading but the tenth Doctor himself reading it!
It was an unusual idea by James Goss to create the idea of an old recording found at the bottom of the sea in the wreck of a 1960's pirate radio ship and if you are listening to this recording as the Doctor says... 'then one of us is going to die!'
The characters are voiced well by David Tennant as always and I really felt that I got to know the Doctor's newly found friend 'Layla' with her fun attitude to life, quirky sense of humour and a real feeling for the excitement and adventure that life has to offer this young woman in the swinging sixties. When the Doctor tells her he's chasing down an alien and he travels in time and space, she just thinks that's 'cool'. I could imagine her running off with the Doctor in the Tardis...
I'm still trying to decide whether it's better to have David Tennant as himself telling a story with the Doctor thrown in during the dialogue or to have the Doctor tell it in his own words. I think that's for you to decide when you listen to the story but either way it's a great concept and I can't see why (even though the tenth Doctor's time has come to an end on screen) his audio adventures can't continue in the future and maybe told by David Tennant himself as he's pretty good at it!
The only slight downside is the length of the story - much shorter than the others. I think it could have been a longer story and not just for the sake of it. How did the Doctor come to be chasing this alien weapon in the first place? And what about the only other two characters in the story. I wanted to know more about them. For these reasons I've taken off a star but it's still well worth buying if you're a fan of Who.
I would recomend it, not as long as the other books, only 1 hour 10 minutes run time but I did laugh a little and yes there are things that you can see coming. Still a great one.
Spooky overtones, this single disk story is well constructed and VERY well read by our beloved Mr Tennant himself, it is set on a pirate radio ship where the crew start to mysteriously die...one by one...can the doctor work out what is going on in time to avoid becoming a victim himself?
A good addition to the doctor who audio collection!
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