THe TenTH DOCTOr aDVenTures VOL 2
Play the Piper
released OUT NOW! 297 minutes | Cd/download
Publisher Big Finish
How you feel about this set of new audio adventures for the Tenth Doctor and Rose will depend on how you felt about David Tennant’s Time Lord. This is a pitch-perfect evocation of the revived show’s second year, right down to its fun-loving, fast-talking, sometimes-a-bit-annoying hero. Tennant’s portrayal grew into a more complex and nuanced figure, but here he’s very much the motor-mouthed “HALLO! I’m the Doctah!” type of season two. Still, the chemistry between Tennant and Billie Piper (making her Big Finish debut) remains as scorching as it was a scarcelycredible 11 (yes, 11!) years ago.
In “Infamy Of The Zaross”, aliens are invading Earth once again, albeit this time for a rather unusual reason. Meanwhile, Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) is stuck in Norwich with her snooty friend Marge. One of these plotlines is more engaging than the other – and it’s probably not the one you think. Jackie is one of the great unsung Doctor Who characters, and it’s wonderful to have her back, as hilarious and human as ever. The alien plot, on the other hand, is a decent-enough joke stretched too far.
“The Sword Of The Chevalier” is better, matching a genuinely funny script to a fascinating real-life figure, the 17th century Chevalier d’Éon (Nickolas Grace). If the episode had been a purely historical exploration of the Doctor and d’Éon’s budding comradeship it would have been enough. As it is, you also get a solid plot and a genuinely unnerving alien villain for your money too.
The third and final story, “Cold Vengeance” is the box’s traditional monster tale. The TARDIS lands on Coldstar – effectively an intergalactic freezer store that’s in the middle of a meltdown, and that’s soon home to some angry Ice Warriors. For the first half it’s a serviceable enough action-adventure, but it improves considerably as the human drama comes to the fore and chief villain Hasskor reveals a few more layers. Will Salmon
Aliens are invading Earth once again
The limited edition has two bonus discs: one going behind-the-scenes on these stories, one on the wider Who range.