Are you ready for the most exciting Doctor Who audio release of the year? Because it’s here! Big Finish have reunited the arguably best TARDIS Team of all time in form of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble.
Technophobia by Matt Fitton 9/10
When the Doctor and Donna visit London’s Technology Museum for a glimpse into the future, things don’t go to plan. The most brilliant IT brain in the country can’t use her computer. More worrying, the exhibits are attacking the visitors, while outside, people seem to be losing control of the technology that runs their lives. Is it all down to simple human stupidity, or is something more sinister going on? Beneath the streets, the Koggnossenti are waiting. For all of London to fall prey to technophobia…
Who else to turn to but writer, Matt Fitton to pen the first new story for Tennant and Tate, and he certainly rises to the challenge. Fitton perfectly captures the essence and style of Season 4. The story acts to help the listener understand the plight of being left behind in the ever changing world of technology and the technology shop featured clearly parodies the a certain familiar store on Regent Street, London.
Time Reaver by Jenny T Colgan 8/10
Calibris. The spaceport planet where anything goes. Where anyone who doesn’t want to be found can be lost, and where everything has its price. Where betentacled gangster Gully holds sway at the smugglers’ tavern, Vagabond’s Reach. The alien Vacintians are trying to impose some order on the chaos. Soon the Doctor and Donna discover why. An illegal weapon is loose on the streets. A weapon that destroys lives… Slowly and agonisingly.
This second outing takes place in a locale reminiscent of the Cantina from Star Wars, the titular time reaver weapon certainly earns its place it Who-law, and the piece nicely walks the line between comedy and emotional drama.
Death and The Queen by James Goss 10/10
Donna Noble has never been lucky in love. So when, one day, her Prince does come, she is thrilled to have the wedding of all weddings to look forward to. Though the Doctor isn’t holding his breath for an invitation. And her future mother-in-law is certainly not amused. But on the big day itself, Donna finds her castle under siege from the darkest of forces, marching at the head of a skeleton army. When it looks like even the Doctor can’t save the day, what will Queen Donna do to save her people from Death itself?
This story by James Goss is the most original tale presented and the clear jewel of the three. Here Donna is a bride once more and has departed the TARDIS in this brilliant variation on the base-under-siege archetype.
These two actors are great friends in real life, this chemistry has no doubt always been a big part of the duo’s success and likability and is likely the precursor to this long anticipated, much wanted reunion. Both Tennant and Tate spring back together like they’d never left. Their performances bring back all of the comedy, camaraderie, and at times serious dramatic peril that was the reason we fell in love with them during their televisual tenure on Doctor Who.
The only apparent missed opportunity here is in the stand alone nature of these three stories and their lack of cohesion. TV Who watchers will be used to a through-line bringing the plot of each adventure in to conjunction, and Big Finish has grown a reputation for expertly creating connected plots over multiple stories. The reunion of these two all time fan favourites could only have been improved by an overarching story making the piece a trilogy.
With a year to wait until the BBC brings us Season 10 but perhaps in despite of it, this thrilling reunion of two of the program’s most beloved characters is the Doctor Who event of the year! Huge congratulations and even huger thanks to Big Finish for making this happen. Hopefully there is much more to follow…
BLOGTOR RATING 9/10
Written By: Matt Fitton, Jenny T Colgan, James Goss
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs
David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble)
Niky Wardley (Bex), Rachael Stirling (Jill Meadows), Chook Sibtain (Brian), Rory Keenan (Kevin), Jot Davies (Lukas)
Alex Lowe (Soren), Sabrina Bartlett (Cora), Terry Molloy (Rone), John Banks (Gully), Dan Starkey (Dorn)
Death and the Queen
Blake Ritson (Rudolph), Alice Krige (Queen Mum), Beth Chalmers (Hortense), Alan Cox (Death)
Other roles played by the cast