Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 03

I got hold of this Big Finish box set to acompany my cycling through the forest in recent days, and realised only when I started writing this up that although I had already listened to Volume One of this series a couple of years ago, I had actually missed Volume Two. Oh well, more pleasures in store I guess.

All three stories here bring David Tennant back together with Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. The first one, No Place by James Goss, also brings back Jacqueline King as Donna's mother Sylvia and Bernard Cribbins as her grandfather Wilf. They are posing as a nuclear-ish family (ie the Doctor and Donna are pretending to be married) investigating a haunted house in collaboration with a TV show called Haunted Makeovers. As my regular reader knows, I rate Goss very highly as perhaps the best regular current Who writer who has never written for TV. I'm afraid this didn't quite work for me; I guess I am not familiar enough with the subgenres of makeover TV or ghost movies to really get the joke, and the plot didn't make a lot of sense in its own terms. The actors all seemed to be having fun, which is important I guess. You can get it here.

One Mile Down, by Jenny T. Colgan, worked a lot better - an underwater city, where humans and fish people are attempting to find an uneasy modus vivendi, is disrupted, possibly fatally, by Judoon on a mission. There is lots of high and low politics going on, and I found the plot intricate but consistent and compelling. Also very welcome to hear the voice of Rakie Ayola, who played the tragically unnamed hostess in Midnight, one of my favourite Tenth Doctor TV stories. You can get it here.

The Creeping Death, by Roy Gill, is set in the Great London Smog of 1952; the theme of a massive public health disaster, whose victims find their lungs unable to support their attempts to breathe, turns out to be uncannily relevant for our current situation (prescient as the story was recorded in September 2018 and released in May 2019). The soundscape evokes a cinema, smog-ridden streets and a bus garage in London of the day, with a nod towards the politics of homosexuality; it's an intense and heartfelt piece. You can get it here. I had only come across one other piece by Roy Gill, the first Class audio, which was also very good. I'll look out for more by him.

The box set as a whole includes the usual amusing behind-the-scenes banter, but also another disc celebrating David Tennant's association with Big Finish, which goes back to 2001; there is a lovely early interview with him spontaneously gushing about his fannish delight in the show. It's a very close match between him and Peter Capaldi as the most Whovian of the lead actors in their personal preferences. The whole thing is worth getting as a set, and you can do that here.
Tags: doctor who, doctor who: 10, writer: james goss, writer: jenny colgan, writer: roy gill

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