third in the new range of doctor who talking books from the bbc, with a principal actor from the show reading an all new doctor who story.
catherine tate is the reader here. the story is spread over two discs both of which run for roughly one hour and ten minutes. whilst the discs are divided into tracks there are no breaks in the narrative save the end of the discs, so essentially what you get are two very long episodes.
the story involves the TARDIS making a forced landing off dover in 1940, after a collision with an alien craft. the doctor and donna are taken into a nearby secret military base where high ranking british officials are planning the rescue of british troops from dunkirk. but the occupant of the other craft, an alien called a nemonite, is looking to spawn. and soon the secret base is full of lots and lots of nasty aliens...
as with previous release "Doctor Who": The Forever Trap: No. 2 (Dr Who Audio Original 2) catherine tate does different voices for all the characters and her vocal range is very impressive. since most of them are humans we don't get the variety of voices she showed in the forever trap, but she does provide convincingly different voices and regional accents for each character.
where this release really scores though is in the quality of the script. the wartime atmosphere and the atmosphere of being at sea or in a secret military installation is vividly recreated and the implaccably hostile nemonite and it's actions do lead to some incredibly creepy scenes. although one of these is rather spoilt by some intrusive background music.
characterisation is very strong for all the supporting characters, with even the potentially stereotypical high ranking human who doesnt trust the doctor having some very credible motivation. and it's character action that leads to an emotionally powerful finale. and it's one you won't forget in a hurry.
the second disc isnt paced quite as well as the first, but that's a minor complaint. this is far and away the best one of these that the bbc have done so far.
David Roden has written an action-packed but thoughtful story that is more intense and more serious than its two predecessors. Catherine Tate reads superbly and manages a greater range of inflection than anyone watching the BBC TV series would have credited her for; although when she voices her own character it can get a bit 'flippin' grating', as she might say. Donna Noble also finds herself in the unfamiliar position of being courted by not one but two sailors, leading to much humourous preening by the character. The wartime setting is rendered extremely atmospheric, considering this is a reading rather than a Big Finish style drama, and the character of The Doctor stays true to David Tennant's TV portrayal; although the story revolves around his companion rather than the Time Lord himself. Overall this is a great addition to the range; it would be nice if these audiobooks were novelised as well though...
This is one of three David Tennant era Dr Who Audio's I recently purchased (the other being Pest Control and the Forever Trap) and while I thought they were both good too I enjoyed this one the most.
Back when Catherine Tate was first announced as a companion I had a few doubts about her, mainly because she wasn't really known for her acting. However the doubts were unfounded and just as in the tv show she demonstrates here that she is a very capable actress and is able to tell this story convincingly and using a wide variety of accents to do it.
To the story itself, it's fairly classic Who material. Dangerous single-minded aliens, the Earth in mortal peril and a tie in to a pivotal historical event that is under threat of ever taking place without the Dr getting things back on track!
This is a well written adventure that also has several solid characters for you to become quite invested in by it's conclusion. Definitely a winner for me.
An original audio book written by David Roden and narrated by erstwhile TV companion Catherine Tate; this is a solid and entertaining experience. Set in 1941, the story sees The Doctor and Donna materialise on a submarine in World War II, as Vice-Admiral Ramsey prepares for the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Tate is a competent narrator, although when she is reading her character it can become a bit irksome; she also invests David Tennant's Tenth Doctor with too many Cockney mannerisms that he just doesn't have. The Nemonites - black-eyed giant leeches - are decent enough villains; if a little one-dimensional, and the adventure is fast-paced and well written. My only other quibble would be that this takes The series nowhere new and would probably have been fine as a novel.
I really think audiobooks are much better value than these audio originals. I liked the time period chosen for this adventure, but otherwise it's more of the same. Yet another military officer gone bad, making things harder. It's well performed and produced. Just no surprises in the story.