My various posts about Doctor Who have already told you that I haven’t been able to get over David Tennant leaving the show. I still enjoy the Matt Smith seasons, but…! One symptom of this unacceptance is that I’ve been seeking out Doctor Who audiobooks. Not novels–audiobooks. Specifically, ones narrated by Mr. Tennant himself.
I’ve listened to three so far, and was delighted to find that not only is David Tennant perfect at delivering the voice of the Tenth Doctor (as you might imagine…), he’s quite good at doing other voices too. Here’s a run-down on all three I’ve explored.
Doctor Who: Pest Control by Peter Anghelides
The Doctor and Donna land on a dark, muddy planet in the midst of a war between human colonists and centaur-like natives. No, really–centaurs! The Doctor and Donna get pulled into the conflict, especially when, in a Kafkaesque twist, humans start turning into giant insects. Obviously, this is a bizarre one in some ways, and it has some dark (and gross) moments. But there also some good moments between the Doctor and Donna (she does not appreciate the mud, or what it’s doing to her clothes), and even some Star Trek humor. The Doctor initially introduces himself as Dr. McCoy, and Donna as Captain Kirk.
Doctor Who: The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett
This one is set in between seasons, possibly after Donna’s season, as the Doctor is without a regular companion. As happens in the specials, he adopts a companion for the day. In this case, it’s Sugar MacAuley, a flight attendant on the maiden voyage of an experimental new space craft traveling across the galaxy (in 90 minutes!) When the engines go amok, most of the passengers vanish, and strange creatures start appearing, the Doctor and Sugar have to find answers, or be lost drifting between dimensions forever.
I particularly like the plot of this one. It’s a good mystery with some neat details. There’s just one drawback–first, Sugar suffers from a really dumb name, and Tennant compounds the problem by trying hard to make her sound distinctive and winding up giving her an annoying voice. If you can look (listen?) past that, Sugar is actually a pretty solid character. I would recommend reading this in book form, except–it’s worth it on audio to hear the Doctor’s voice. He gets some really wonderful Doctorish lines that I loved hearing Tennant say. There’s even an “allons-y!” at one point (and if that doesn’t excite you, you must watch this clip).
Doctor Who: The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner
This is my favorite of the audiobooks so far. As you might guess, it’s a Doctor and Rose story. Mickey finds a stone statue of Rose in the British Museum, and when he shows it to the Doctor and Rose, they’re off to ancient Rome. They meet an old man looking for his lost son, a young girl claiming to know the future, and a quite creepy sculptor…and the Doctor becomes convinced that the stone Rose is not a statue at all.
The-Doctor-and-Rose interaction here is brilliant, and I enjoyed the trip to Rome. Tennant’s voice talents really shone here–he does great voices for Mickey and especially for Jackie. His Rose voice was less distinct, but worked fine. There’s a wonderful convoluted (but ultimately coherent) crossing of time lines, some good twists, and the last ten minutes is just lovely. It’s a wonderful funny and sweet scene between Rose and the Doctor that’s adorable and just makes me smile and smile. I listened to that bit twice.
As a means to an end, I can’t say that more Tenth Doctor adventures have helped me accept Tennant leaving the show…but more Tenth Doctor adventures are an end in themselves!