- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 23 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Mar. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ4SQ6
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Doctor Who: The Doctor Trap Audiobook – Unabridged
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Like all in this range it runs for just under two hundred and fifty pages, can be read by readers of all ages - although this one might be a bit much for the very young thanks to a rather labyrinthine plot - and the two leads are recreated perfectly on the printed page, with dialogue you can imagine them saying on tv.
The story sees the Doctor fall foul of Sebastiane. The mysterious man who rules a world called planet one, which has some very sophisticated computers and robots. He acts like a victorian gentleman. And he likes to hunt. And what better to hunt than rare species? Like the last of the time lords.
Sebastiane is also slightly crazy and this makes him dangerously unpredictable.
So when the Doctor and Donna fall into his hands, they have a fight on their hands in order to survive.
Not least because the Doctor has a plan of his own...
The initial developments of the plans in this story result in a plot that whilst fast moving might have you saying 'what's going on here?' for a while. But stick with it because things to do quickly become clear, and when they do it's all very clever. And it all adds a gripping extra level of danger to the story. Because Sebastiane really is quite a superb villain, so very human and so dangerously unpredictable. A slight flaw is that if he wasn't, the Doctor might not get away with some of the things that he does, but that goes with the madness.
The Doctor and Donna are separated for a lot of the story but that does give her an intriguing plot strand of her own, and adds some interesting extra tension and questions of trust also.
And the pace of the book never lets up for a moment, the story constantly moving on and changing and throwing in some excellent twists at just the right points.
There are some digs at Doctor who fandom but they never gets nasty or snide, so they're not a problem.
A very involving and entertaining read and one of the best in this range.
This is a truly excellent audiobook, one of the best I've ever heard.
Russell Tovey makes the story come alive, so that it's more like listening to a real audio adventure rather than just a reading of a book. He does such a brilliant job of creating the different characters, especially the character of Sebastian. His talent for creating the different voices and tones of speech is unsurpassed in my view.
He really does bring the characters in the story alive.
Usually, audiobooks need the inclusion of music and sound effects to really work, but you don't get any in the audbiobooks featuring the current Doctor Who stories, as you do get in the classic Doctor Who audiobooks. But you do get the Doctor Who theme tune, which you don't get in the 'classic' Who audiobooks for some reason, (maybe the BBC not wanting to use any Dr Who theme in their audiobooks except the current Doctor's theme?) Anyhow, a lot of the time, the current audiobook versions are not usually as good as some of the 'classic' Doctor Who audiobooks, mainly for the lack of music and sound effects, but even without any of that, this story just LIVES, thanks to the excellent reading skills of the narrator. Brilliant!
Messingham is no stranger to Doctor Who, having written Strange England and Tomb of Valdemar in the past, his tales usually marked by a high concept that feels like a merging of Who and an classic Edwardian concept. Here, we essentially have Who's take on 'The Dangerous Game': a group of alien hunters pursue the Doctor across different zones modeled after their home worlds, while Sebastiene has Donna and the TARDIS in his clutches. But on top of that, we have humanoid robots who run Planet 1, a duplicate of the Doctor who is also his number one fanboy and even Sebastiene himself having a fixation with 19th century Europe, hence his appearance and behaviour. That's a pretty odd mix, but how does it work out?
The problem is is that The Doctor Trap never feels like it makes most of the use of its premise, and it's a fairly tensionless story. The story starts a little too slow for such a mind game, trudging through backstory and setup, and the use of a doppelganger pretty much acts as a dead giveaway of what the story is going to do. The actual hunt isn't even until halfway through the book, and by then, maybe fills up two or three chapters before the idea seems to be drop in favour of a standard big confrontation. Most of the book is mainly spent seeing the Doctor manipulate Sebastiene's game from the inside, or Donna being trapped inside a mundane hell of a discount hotel and whining about the Doctor. The stakes never feel that high and Sebastiene is a little too kooky and silly to act as much of a threat or feel like a challenge for the Doctor. Even the humour doesn't seem very well thought out, going from Adams-ish parody and wit to just lame pratfalls with Sebastiene's robotic servants.
On top of that, Messingham writes a fairly generic smart alecky Doctor that only half the time sounds like 10, the rest being a jumble of 4, 5 and 7, and his Donna is very poor, as I barely imagined seeing Catherine Tate during the reading of the story, and instead more of a whinier Rose with just a touch more sass. In fairness, the prose is uncluttered and easy to read, which makes sense given the book's young demographic, and Messingham may not follow through on them but no one can deny he hasn't got an imagination on him, but it just isn't enough. Not recommended.
Most Doctor Who books are enjoyable enough and follow the same basic plan.
'The Doctor Trap' requires the reader to pay a bit more attention and is cleverly plotted. So I rated it 5*.
That is on the Doctor Who scale of stars. It's how much I enjoyed, not judged as literature.
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