Another Doctor Who talking book from the BBC, telling an all new adventure for the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory that hasn't been presented before in any other medium.
It runs for seventy six minutes [approx] and is complete on one cd. It's basically one long episode, the only breaks on the disc being the usual cd chapter ones.
It's read by Arthur Darvill, who plays Rory on the show.
Minimal sleeve notes just give credits and copyright information.
The story sees the TARDIS land it's crew in a dark tunnel. Where they quickly find a dead body. And soldiers. The psychic paper has no effect on the officer in charge of them, so the Doctor and his friends have problems. Not least the fact that they're told they are in 1982. In a nuclear bunker. Where a small group of people have been held up for weeks ever since a nuclear war started.
The Doctor and Amy and Rory know that never happened, though. But they don't know who killed the soldier. And they soon find out that something very dangerous is in the bunker with them...
Like many stories of old this is what they call a 'base under siege' tale, featuring a small group of characters in a location that comes under threat. The setting is a good one for this kind of thing and it grabs from the off because the listener also knows that something can't be right about this location. And because it's claustrophobic and atmospheric.
The nature of the threat is gradually revealed in the second third of the story. Some may find it very creepy, and use of the audio medium makes for some good scary moments.
All this keeps the story moving but at this point it doesn't break anything in the way of new ground. And whilst the supporting characters are well written and believable they're all rather ordinary and none really stand out too much.
However the final third of the story is pretty good as it brings in some interesting plot developments and makes you reappraise a lot of what has gone before.
As ever with this range this is nothing more than an efficient time passer to help keep you going till the show returns to tv, but it does have it's moments and is a slightly above average release all in all.
With TARDIS team are in deep trouble again - literally.
Wandering underground dark, dank tunnels not only trying to find the way out but also deciding where - and when - they are, stumbling across a dead body (human, possibly Earthling. Well, at least it could be Earth) and being confronted by a phalanx of rifle-wielding soldiers accusing them of the said murder, and, ho, they've landed in 1982 in the middle of nuclear war. In 1982?
So, what could possibly go wrong?
The tunnel network is a part of an underground nuclear survival bunker inhabitant by a truly disparate group; Colonel Bowe commanding a military squad, a local town Mayor, the bunker's designer (Mr. Arthur Harrington), and a local town Councillor (Helen). As the Doctor observes, a strange mix of people and all surprisingly believing that (in 1982) that a nuclear bomb has ravaged Earth. But he knows that it did not happen. Or did it? A parallel Earth?
Naturally, as is the nature DOCTOR WHO storytelling, the trio of Time Travellers are quickly separated, embarking on their journey of threat, disaster and revelation. The Doctor interrogated by the `shoot-now-ask-questions-later-if-there-is-is-a-later' thick-necked (or maybe just `thick'), Colonel Bowe, whilst Amy is set to work as a kitchen skivvy to earn her keep as a kitchen assistant, and Rory is incarcerated with the aged yet dapper designer.
Yet all three discover that the threat does not necessarily come from the human inhabitants within the bunker but from a rasping plague of mutated meter-long cockroaches with a ravenous appetite for the unsuspecting and hapless. Sorry, Rory, it looks like you're on the menu again.
Basically, Steve Lyons' DOCTOR WHO - DAY OF THE COCKROACH is a "base under siege" plot. It's not trying to be anything other than that. No clever body inhabiting monsters, or non-corporeal aliens draining the planet's resources for their own means; it's huge cockroaches with clacking mandibles masticating flesh and storing any leftovers in their `larder'.
However, a mystery remains of how cockroaches, normally about 2cm in length, can evolve into one-metre creatures with a taste for human flesh. Perhaps, there is an alien presence or `mad-scientist' within the bunker?
Returning to AUDIOGO's NEW SERIES exclusive-to-audio tie-in range, Arthur Darvill effortless slips into the role of both narrator and performer, magically orchestrating Lyons' script and bringing the nefarious characters to life with beguiling agility & dexterity and creative charm; a tour de force.
From a soft Scottish lilt to a confidence arrogance of an alien from Gallifrey to a gruff military leader and to a seemingly witless medical nurse from Leadworth, Darvill somersaults and wheels with energy and panache commanding centre stage throughout the single-disc release, supported by a modest incidental music score (probably, `stock music') and, at times, under whelming sound effects. It could have more carefully "post-production".
Nonetheless, DOCTOR WHO - DAY OF THE COCKROACH is an entertaining diversion for a car journey or to listen to just before bedtime (but remember to have the `night-light' switched on. Cockroach doesn't like the light).
Arthur Darvill makes a great reader of this action-packed and claustrophobic audio book. Arriving on Earth in the year 1982, the three TARDIS occupants find themselves in a military bunker, the last refuge after a world-destroying nuclear war. As the saying goes, the only creatures to survive a nuclear war would be the cockroaches, however these bad boys are giant monstrosities, and our heroes soon find themselves battling to avoid becoming bug dinners.