SFX - - Reviews -

It may have been rel­a­tively short-lived, but the on­screen pair­ing of David Ten­nant as the Tenth Doc­tor and Cather­ine Tate as Donna has ended up one of the most well-loved Doc­tor/ com­pan­ion teams in the show’s his­tory. Now, thanks to Big Fin­ish’s con­tin­u­ing ex­plo­ration of new Who, the dou­ble-act re­turns in a new trio of ad­ven­tures (avail­able both in a lim­ited box set and as three sep­a­rate re­leases) that suc­cess­fully con­jure up the broad, en­thu­si­as­tic tone of the RTD era.

First up is Techno­pho­bia, a tale of mod­ern life spin­ning out of con­trol, as the Doc­tor and Donna’s visit to a Lon­don mu­seum goes awry when a bizarre fear of tech­nol­ogy starts in­fect­ing the pop­u­la­tion. With plenty of ac­tion, hu­mour and in­trigue, Matt Fit­ton’s script keeps the pace high and the tone play­ful, even if over­all the story feels very tra­di­tional.

Time Reaver gives us a more space-bound ad­ven­ture, us­ing au­dio’s lim­it­less bud­get to take the Doc­tor and Donna to the sprawl­ing space­port planet of Cal­ib­ris. Here, they run foul of an evil ten­ta­cled gang­ster keen to ob­tain a cache of lethal weaponry. Writer Jenny T Colgan main­tains a nice bal­ance be­tween en­er­getic ac­tion, comic-book lurid­ness and emo­tive drama.

The ad­ven­tures are rounded off in fine style with Death And The Queen by James Goss, in which Donna falls for the ruler of a se­cre­tive king­dom and gets the chance for a proper fairy­tale wed­ding. Un­for­tu­nately, there’s a ma­jor catch in the deal, and it’s up to the Doc­tor to save her in this witty and in­ven­tive romp that de­liv­ers plenty of laughs while also show­cas­ing the depth of the Doc­tor/Donna re­la­tion­ship.

Across all three re­leases, both leads step back into their roles so smoothly it’s as if they’ve never been away, dis­play­ing the same chem­istry and comic tim­ing that made their TV episodes so mem­o­rable. A ma­jor step up from Big Fin­ish’s pre­vi­ous new Who re­leases, this is un­miss­able stuff for Tenth Doc­tor fans, and hope­fully just the first of many re­turn vis­its for Ten­nant and Tate. Saxon Bul­lock

Death And The Queen also co-stars Alice Krige, who played the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Con­tact.

This is un­miss­able stuff for Tenth Doc­tor fans

For a Doc­tor that didn’t want to die, Ten is wear­ing en­tirely the wrong colour shirt.

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